The controversial Snooker Shoot Out ranking event is to stay on the snooker calendar for another seven years despite previous uncertainty surrounding its future.
The quick-fire tournament sees frames played in 10 minutes as players rush to beat their opponents via 15 and 10-second shot clock restrictions.
When first introduced the competition was added as a bit of fun but World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn caused controversy when he upgraded the event to ranking event status.
This year saw Cypriot Michael Georgiou win his first ever ranking event after he beat Graeme Dott in the final which was shown on ITV 4.
After the tournament world number 7 Mark Williams said on Twitter that there were rumours the competition would be scrapped, for which Hearn responded that discussions about the tournament had begun.
But now World Snooker has announced the event is here to stay after the body agreed a seven-year deal with Eurosport and Quest for broadcasting rights – meaning it will no longer be shown live on ITV 4.
Barry Hearn said this year’s event in February was the best he had ever seen.
Hearn said: “We are delighted to be working with Eurosport and Quest on the Shoot Out for the first time.
“We have established a fantastic partnership with them in recent years. Eurosport really is the Home of Snooker, broadcasting to 137 million homes in 54 countries. We have also seen incredible viewing figures on Quest since they first televised snooker in 2016.
“The Shoot Out is a wonderful event which has become one of the highlights of the season for fans who enjoy the fast and furious pace of play.
“The 2018 Shoot Out was the best I have ever seen, with so many matches going down to the last few seconds, including the final which was a great moment for Michael Georgiou. It’s a chance for up and coming players to make a name for themselves.”
The 2019 Shoot Out will run from February 21-24, at the Watford Colosseum.