Here's my verdict.
Pros to the PTCs.
It gets the players chance to play every weekend. This is good for the players, who used to kick their heels during tournaments and good for the fans, as it keeps all players match sharp in every tournament. This improved the match quality in most of the tournaments.
Players are now earning more money then before.
We got a weekend of televised snooker when the finals were on.
Things not so good.
Though the European ones tended to allow people in to watch, it was next to impossible to see the ones in Sheffield. Tickets weren't available, and it wasn't on television. If you weren't sleeping with the players, you didn't see it. Though a lot of the internet snooker community watched the scores on live update, the more casual fans didn't. Some people I know like snooker, but aren't that hardcore with it. So weren't quite aware of who would've won events, or how people would've qualified for the finals. We should get them televised, or at least highlights televised. Meaning more opportunities for us fans to watch snooker, and more chances for everybody across the spectrum of fandom to know what's going on in the finals.
Bloody Eurosport putting tennis on instead.
Personally, I see it this way. The long-term objective of Barry Hearn is to bring in fans, and fill out arenas for snooker events. Early rounds play out in front of five or six fans on occasion. This needs to stop. However, as stated, that's a long-term objective. Short-term objectives include bringing in more sponsorship (which Hearn has) and getting the players more playing time (which the PTCs have done.)
But, as far as I see it, the PTCs should be televised. Highlights at the least. But another question strikes me. How long will the PTCs remain neccessary? They are necessary now, no doubt. But we are also adding proper ranking events in other countries such as Germany, India, Brazil and Australia. With the German ones in particular, some complained that the tournament was too short, and should've been at least a week long. What I wanted to see, and always did before the PTCs came along were a load more week-long ranking events. As many as possible in a season. At least two a month, with time for the qualifiers to, errrr...., qualify. That's very much a pipe dream at the moment, but for how much longer? The sport isn't going to get popular enough or affluent enough to have that quantity of tournament overnight, of course. So the PTCs, for me are the way forward for the next few seasons. But how would people feel if they were eventually eradicated to add for gallons more ranking events?
Or do people feel the PTCs are the way forward, and we want that and traditional ranking events to fill the season? I'm not offering an opinion, I just find it food for thought. How do people see the PTCs changing, and evolving over the next few seasons?
One thing I am sure of is we need to televise as many of them as possible.
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