Stephen Hendry and snooker fans have criticised a move not to show his hugely anticipated World Championship qualifier against Jimmy White on TV.
Described as one of the matches of the season, the King of the Crucible continues his sensational comeback to the sport – non other against the man he beat in four World Championship finals a generation or two ago… Jimmy White.
The pair will clash just like they did so many times in the 1990s in the first qualifying round of this year’s World Championship in a best-of-11 frames match.
This will be Hendry’s second match since coming out of retirement – his first, a 4-1 defeat to Matthew Selt (which was televised) in the opening round of the Gibraltar Open.
However, the match – which has been reacted with delight by snooker fans – will not be shown on the BBC Red Button service or on Eurosport’s main (UK based) TV channels, it has emerged.
Instead, it will be shown as a streamed service on the Eurosport website and via the Eurosport Player app – meaning fans will have to pay to watch if not not already subscribed.
The decision has been met with dismay by many snooker fans who feel the match should have TV status given the history between the pair over the years.
Ahead of the match Hendry himself appeared to be critical of the decision. An opinion echoed by many snooker fans.
Hendry tweeted on Sunday: “Shame it’s not on tv as I’m sure a lot of people won’t bother to watch it on here.”
At time of writing his tweet attracted more than 200 responses.
One fan replied: “Nope looks like I’m missing out on a great match was looking forward to it as well. Seems money is more important than the enjoyment of a match and getting more viewers good luck to both players”
Another annoyed fan wrote back: “It’s very poor Stephen. Cynical people have decided money can be made from this match meaning a generation of fans of you and Jimmy, snooker and those great finals lose out.”
Eurosport state on their website: “This event will not be shown on TV. The only place to watch it is on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk.”