Thursday, 12 August 2010

Should snooker be more like darts?

First, a correction: in my last post I said the next televised darts was the Winmau World Masters. Of course it isn't; it's the World Grand Prix in Dublin. Mea Culpa.

Moving swiftly on, there's more lively debate over on the BBC 606 Forum as to whether snooker should be more like darts.

This is something that seems to exercise snooker fans (amongst whom I count myself). Snooker still draws large TV audiences, though there's a sense that people are losing interest.

Darts, on the other hand, seems to be going from strength to strength with impressive and increasing TV audiences and more televised matches than ever. The World Matchplay this year set new TV audience records, for example.

The difference between the first darts matches I remember watching (late 80s and early 90s) and today's televised tournaments is huge (unles you're watching the BDO, when they still feel oddly old-fashioned), but I remain unconvinced that snooker would benefit from a huge injection of noise and razzmatazz. Darts has always been a loud and happy sport whereas snooker, although not always played in the cathedral-like atmosphere that prevails today, would not lend itself readily to the noise and enthusiasm of a major darts tournament.

Whatever the snooker authorities do, I hope it works.

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