China goes snooker loopy

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Scottish sports management company 110Sport has set up an online pay–per–view snooker website in an attempt to tap into the lucrative Chinese market. 110sport. tv has been established with financial support from Scottish Enterprise as an online television company aimed at the 380m snooker fans in the Far East. 110Sport, which represents 10 of the top 14 players in world snooker including Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon and Ken Doherty, is keen to cash–in on the lucrative market where snooker games this year involving Hendry and Chinese number one Ding Junhui – at the World Championship in Sheffield and Chinese Open – attracted combined TV audiences of 263m in China. 110Sport chairman Lee Doyle told the Scottish Sunday Mail: " This is potentially a very lucrative deal involving millions of pounds. Snooker in Britain is a mature sport but in China it is just taking off. " 110 chief executive Dave McKinnon added: " There is something about snooker that ties in with Chinese culture and their way of life. They like the etiquette, the manners and the respectful atmosphere. " Chinese customers will be able to pay £1 to stream the games on the Internet, with the service also being available for use on mobile phones. 110Sport estimates that it will attract an initial one million subscribers, with the possibility of expanding the business in the next year. The company has already set up a deal for live coverage of next month's Shanghai Masters, and is arranging a snooker legends event with Jimmy White and Steve Davis in October, which will be televised live on 110sport. tv. Doyle added: " The eventual aim will be to move tournaments like the World Championship to China. That won't happen overnight but it could happen in five years. In the longer term, the potential audience and revenue is almost limitless. " About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events. Contact rory. squires@thesportbriefing. com for more information.

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