World Snooker has teamed up with an online channel in the hope of creating a snooker boom in Canada once again.
Streaming platform DAZN Canada will show coverage of the World Snooker Championship and other major tournaments for the next five years, it has been announced.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said the new five-year deal is the just the very start of things to come as the organisation plans to create more links with the country.
Canada has produced some of snooker’s famous characters over the decades including the likes of Kirk Stevens, Bill Werbeniuk, Alain Robidoux and most famously former world champion Cliff Thorburn. But currently there are no Canadian players on the main snooker tour.
Hearn said: “There is a such a rich snooker heritage in Canada going back to the days of Cliff Thorburn, Kirk Stevens and Big Bill Werbeniuk.
“In more recent times, snooker has become a truly global sport and we believe there is potential in Canada for us to grow even further. The live coverage from DAZN will give all Canadian fans the chance to watch snooker’s biggest stars at the biggest tournaments. We hope to see a high level of demand and to see snooker becoming a major sport in Canada again.”
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DAZN is the world’s first dedicated live sports streaming service and is currently available in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan and Canada. It launched in Canada in July 2017.
Alex Rice, managing director for rights and strategic development at DAZN, said: “In addition to broadcasting competitions, we are working with World Snooker and Snooker Canada on a range of initiatives which will get more people playing and watching the sport,”
Patrick Guigui, founder and president of the Snooker Canada Federation said the deal presented exciting times for Canadian snooker.
“The broadcast world is a changing landscape and we will exploit all opportunities to bring live snooker to new fans and build our vast global footprint. The timing could not be better, as we prepare for our national tour. The players and fans will definitely embrace this new platform here in Canada.”