World Snooker eyes further Chinese development with Rigour Media deal

World Snooker has signed a rights partnership with Rigour Media in a move designed to aid the sport’s digital growth in China.

The 10-year deal grants Rigour exclusive control of digital audio-visual rights in China for all World Snooker events until 2027.

Rigour Media’s Superstar Online service, as well as other sublicensed platforms, will showcase the coverage. The deal also includes e-gaming rights, e-community and social media rights, licensing and e-commerce and the ability to develop an official membership scheme in China.

World Snooker has worked closely with Rigour Media in recent years, with the company serving as the training and technology partner of an official academy in Beijing. Rigour Media also provides the on-screen technology used to track ball positions during the World Championships.

The latest deal comes after World Snooker recently signed a new agreement with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV to televise events until 2027.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: “Snooker has grown in China at an astonishing rate in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. We have capitalised on this expansion with more tournaments, more prize money for the players and more snooker to watch for fans, both on television and online.

“These 10-year deals with CCTV and Rigour Media will allow us to continue our long-term strategy of developing and exploiting the vast popularity of snooker in China. There is also scope within this agreement to develop areas which will bring fans closer to the players, as Rigour have already done through their Superstar Online platform.”