A few decades ago, the World Snooker Championship was a subdued event with few spectators and little or no TV coverage. The game has a long history but it was largely confined to the pubs and clubs of the UK for many years. The current landscape couldn’t, however, be more different with millions tuning in to the action on the green baize from all over the world.
On top of the World
In those earlier days, there were just a handful of tournaments but we now have events taking place across much of the calendar year. The rise in televised broadcasting has had a major role in that success and we’re proud that Unibet TV is playing its own part.
Along with our live streaming service, we have an active set of snooker betting markets throughout the sporting year. To find out what’s in store and what you can actually stake on, please take a moment to check out our guide.
Recognised snooker tournaments had been contested since the start of the 20th century but we had to wait just a little longer for the first World Championship. Following the success of the English Amateur Championship which started in 1916, the professional game needed an equivalent.
The very first World Championship was therefore held in 1927 and it has largely been a regular on the snooker calendar ever since. The early competitions were dominated by the great Joe Davis who won the first 15 editions of the tournament from 1927 through to 1946. Joe’s brother Fred Davis took over to extend the family dominance but the tournament failed to fall under the radar of the wider sporting world.
The length of the tournament was one issue: When Alex Higgins won his first title in 1972, the final was a marathon at the best of 73 frames. Inside potential viewers’ homes, black and white televisions prevailed and those appliances aren’t ideal for a sport played with many different coloured balls.
The big change in the world championships, and with snooker as a whole, came in 1977 when the tournament moved to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The competition had a home and with colour TV on hand, a whole new audience was drawn to the sport.
The Crucible continues as the host to an event which is broadcasted into millions of homes around the world. Unibet TV plays its part in the world championships which are traditionally held in April and May so don’t forget to tune in and to check out the available markets on our sportsbook.
Other Snooker Tournaments
Alongside the world championships, snooker runs a number of important events right through the sporting year. The most interest surrounds the ranking events where players can earn points to climb up the snooker ladder and subsequently qualify for the major competitions.
Included on this list are tournaments such as the Welsh Open, the Gibraltar Open, the Riga Masters, the European Championship and the China Championship. As we can see from that list, the sport now carries into many parts of the world where its audience continues to grow.
As well as those tournaments, snooker features a number of ranking events including the Masters. All of these big events can be viewed by Unibet TV customers and that same list of comprehensive betting markets is standing by.
The Game’s Great Characters
One of the reasons why snooker developed so quickly through the 1970s and 1980s is simply down to the players. Snooker stars from the early days were often seen as dour personalities but the new crop helped to advance the sport and make it a global success.
Alex Higgins and Jimmy White were known for their flamboyant styles of play while the slower, methodical qualities of Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis almost saw them cast as the ‘pantomime villains.’
Similar scenarios exist in the present day with the fast play of Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan up against more considered players such as Mark Selby. It’s an individual game and those characters help to make snooker a global phenomenon.
Betting on and Watching Live Snooker
Anyone looking to place a bet on any snooker tournament could look to start with a stake on the outright winner. For an event of the magnitude of the world championship, the outrights can be posted several months in advance and they will develop as the tournament progresses.
Outright betting options will also be available for all ranking events and other big snooker competitions such as the Masters. Once the tournaments approach and the draws are made, match betting takes over for every game from the first rounds to the final. The moneyline bet is made simple with no draws in snooker so it’s a case of picking the winning player. The sport can also lead to a number of prop bets including Frame Score and Total Frames so there are lots of options for those looking to get involved.
In terms of watching live snooker via Unibet TV, all you need to do is sign up or log in to your existing account and meet one of two simple requirements. You will either need to have funds in that account or, you must have made a cash bet within the preceding 24 hours. Once you have complied with that simple request, a host of top class snooker is available via PC, laptop, smartphone or any internet connected device.