ITV4 is to show full coverage of snooker’s Haikou World Open, which begins next Monday.
Extensive live coverage of the tournament in China begins on Monday 25 February, running from 6.10am to 3pm each day until the final on Sunday March 3. It marks a return to snooker for the ITV network, as the sport’s first ranking event shown since the 1993 British Open.
The Haikou World Open, staged on Hainan Island, will feature star players, including China’s number one Ding Junhui, defending champion Mark Allen, world number one Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.
Clive Everton, Neal Foulds and Peter Drury will make up the commentary team for ITV4’s coverage.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “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.”
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “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.
“The Haikou World Open is a superb event with a top prize of £85,000 and deserves to be brought to a wider audience with free to air broadcast in the UK. We are a rapidly growing global sport and there is a high demand among fans.”