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ITV confirms snooker deal

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has confirmed it has acquired rights for the World Open snooker tournament, which will start on Monday, February 25 in Haikou, China.

The rights will be exploited on digital channel ITV4.

ITV struck the deal with the World Snooker global governing body, which operates the tournament.

ITV4 will show non-exclusive live coverage of the tournament from 6.10am to 3pm every day through to the final on March 3.

It will be the first ranking snooker event to be shown on ITV since the 1993 British Open.

“We are delighted to bring to our viewers comprehensive coverage of such a key event in the snooker calendar, which adds another dimension to ITV4’s sports portfolio,” ITV director of sport Niall Sloane said.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn added: “We are developing an increasingly competitive marketplace in terms of broadcast of our events so it’s a fantastic step forward for ITV to provide extensive live coverage of a world ranking event. We’re delighted to be working with the ITV team.”

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED TO SAY THAT ITV4 WILL SHOW NON-EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF THE WORLD OPEN. A PREVIOUS VERSION SAID IT WOULD SHOW EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE.