Hello - I am a Brit based in Delhi for work for three years. While I like snooker, I wouldn't say I was a die-hard fan, but I just thought I would type a few lines on my impressions of the tournament.
Media/press coverage - The newspapers in India have given plenty of coverage to the tournament - proper articles with photographs, not just a few lines buried in an inside page. Television coverage was pretty woeful, but at least there was some. Streaming was blocked in India, so I had to rely on Indian television - sports coverage here is dominated by global brands like ESPN and Star Sports. The snooker was only covered on the state broadcaster's sports channel, which usually runs rubbish like junior table tennis from four years ago. The commentary on the snooker coverage was decent but hampered by eccentric technical issues and editing decisions which do afflict this channel. For example, Ebdon's game against one of the Indian players got to three-all, and then the coverage suddenly stopped and transmission went to a repeat of a shooting event from the London Olympics which didn't even involve any Indians. The final was supposedly shown delayed live - not sure why - again, there was something fairly meaningless on before, so not sure why they couldn't show it live as they had done other nights. So it is progressing merrily along on delayed live until the end of frame one. Then they go for a break and, without warning, it returns with the pictures still on delayed live, but the commentary on actual live! The pictures are showing Frame Two, but the commentators are saying "So that makes it four-nil to Ding". It did rather do away with any anticipation of what might happen.
Ticket Prices - I paid 1500 Rupees for a day pass - four sessions. That is about 15 quid. Think the final may have been 2000 Rupees - about 20 quid. That's a lot of money for India, but certainly not beyond the means of the substantial Indian middle class in Delhi. As a comparison, I think I paid about 750 Rupees for a ticket to an IPL T20 game last year (that was one of the cheap seats). Ticket checks at the snooker were not that thorough, and I'm sure a few people sneaked in without tickets.
Venue - The venue was a swanky hotel in Delhi - I'm sure the players would have found it on a par, if not better, than the places they stay anywhere in the world or back in the UK. The number of withdrawals from the tournament was disappointing. I know some were for genuine reasons, but I do wonder if some were because they didn't fancy the trip. More fool them - they missed out on a fab hotel, and an opportunity to see a fascinating city/country in comfort. I saw some of the players one night heading out for a beer; they were eschewing the hotel car for a tuk-tuk race - they seemed to be enjoying their trip.
Attendance - The sessions I went to were, at most, half full. The TV table was one of the centre tables, and obviously had the most crowd-friendly games on. People tended to cluster in seats by this table, and maybe made the venue look fuller than it was on the telly. The attendees were mainly Indian middle-class blokes. But that applies to most events/concerts/etc in India. Crowd behaviour was also quite similar to other events - lots of moving around and mobile phones being used; it is nigh on impossible to stop Indians wandering round a venue and using their phones, even as a player is playing a shot - and they probably wouldn't appreciate why that may be a problem. Having said that, most of the crowd seemed to know their stuff, and knew what was a good shot and a bad shot. And they, of course, were favouring their own players, but were in no way disrespectful to their opponents.
The future - I presume the event will happen again next year, but maybe in a different city. Somewhere like Mumbai or Bangalore could, I'm sure, put on a decent tournament. Whether it makes any difference to snooker in India, I don't know. Snooker tables to play on are hard to find - think they are mainly in the members only clubs which are the preserve of the richest of Indians. It is interesting to see what has happened with the Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix - next weekend sees its third running. But it's not happening next year, and while there is a vague promise that it will be back on the calendar in 2015, I am not that sure it will. Cricket remains king here, and many other sports are having a go at cracking the Indian market, but generally failing. The way things are, sports participation is the domain of the rich here. Even cricket, which is universally loved and played, has few opportunities for the vast majority of the population. Selection for sports participation at any reasonable level involves money here.
Anyhow, I've rambled on enough. It was certainly good to have top level snooker players here, and I got to see some decent sport, which is definitely one of the things I miss from home (mind you, it's probably stretching it a bit to say that my team, Bolton Wanderers, provide decent viewing at the moment).