Causeway Chronicle

Huge Increase For Snooker’s UK Championship Viewing Figures On BBC And Eurosport

A peak of 2.6 million people watched the final of the UK Championship on BBC on Sunday night, with outstanding viewing figures for the whole event across BBC and Eurosport.

Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Ding Junhui 10-7 in the final in York, the culmination of nine days of drama on the green baize at the first event of the 2023/24 Triple Crown Series. The last session attracted a peak of 2.6 million on BBC which was up 59% on 2022’s figures.

The final evening gained a massive audience share of 13.5% across BBC and UK Eurosport.

Over the whole tournament, the cumulative audience across BBC and UK Eurosport was 14.3 million, a significant jump of 35% compared to last year. Every single session broadcast on BBC achieved either equivalent or improved figures, against 2022.

TV viewing on Eurosport UK saw a +19% increase in audience share versus the 2022 edition. The round two match between Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins was the highest ever UK Championship audience on Eurosport UK, with the final driving the best average audience since 2020. The UK contributed to 27% of streaming views across Europe on discovery+ .

On BBC, the 15-minute reach was 8.6 million, compared to 7.2 million in 2022. And on iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app, there were 6.1m online viewing requests, up from 4.5m last year.

Prior to the main event, the last four days of the qualifying rounds were streamed live on WST’s YouTube and Facebook channels, with total video views of 1.5 million across those four days, an increase of 28% on 2022.

WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “These fantastic figures continue the trend we have seen throughout 2023/24 so far, with numbers well up on last season. There is no doubt that our following is growing both in the UK and internationally, bucking the general trend in sport of a decline in linear audience. The drama and fascination which snooker generates has never been better, our core fan base remains loyal and we continue to attract new and younger fans.

“My appreciation goes to the BBC and Eurosport for their commitment to snooker and superb production values which help achieve these extremely impressive figures. We have two more big events before Christmas then we look forward to the Masters in January which is nearly sold out!”

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Michael Anderson