British Title contenders Nick Matthew and James Willstrop will be playing to a brand new audience at the AJ Bell World Squash Championship 2013 (October 26-November 3) after it is today confirmed that there will be coverage from the quarter-final stage across the BBC Red Button, IPTV and the BBC Sport website. There will also be a highlights programme following the event on BBC Two & BBC Two HD.
The deal ensures that there will be live coverage of quarter final and semi final action on the BBC Sport website and IPTV. The final will be live on the BBC Red Button, the BBC Sport website and on IPTV. In addition, all the news, updates, reviews and interviews throughout the tournament will be featured on the BBC Sport website.
The ground breaking announcement a further endorsement of the sport’s appeal just 5 days before squash discovers if it will be granted Olympic recognition for the 2020 Games and beyond.
A decision will be made on Sunday when the International Olympic Committee meets in Buenos Aires. Squash, wrestling and a joint softball/baseball bid are the contenders.
Alex Gough CEO of PSA said “In our bid to become an Olympic sport, PSA has been investing heavily in TV coverage of squash through SquashTV and to now have the BBC on board is obviously a major boost.”
The AJ Bell World Squash Championship 2013 is part of an autumn sporting festival in Manchester thanks to investment from UK Sport’s Gold Event Series which aims to bring 70 world and European championships to Great Britain by 2019. It also includes the UK’s first ever NBA game to be hosted outside of London, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, Super-league Grand Final and a first ever World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
Sheffield born Matthew is a twice winner of the AJ Bell World Squash Championship while Ramy Ashour of Egypt is the defending champion. Ashour, the world number one and unbeaten in 41 games since last year’s British Open, won his first world title when the event was last staged in Manchester five years ago.
Simon Morton, UK Sport Director of Major Events, said: “The huge exposure sports enjoy in the UK through spectators packing out the venues and hours of broadcast coverage is one of the key assets we have when bidding for events.
“Our appetite for great sport combined with thousands of experienced volunteers and a proven track record in hosting major events makes the UK a perfect host for world class sport.”
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Squash continues to grow in popularity and the decision by the BBC to cover the world championship will help raise the profile of both the sport and Manchester’s reputation an international sporting destination.
“The World Squash Championship is sure to be a thrilling weekend for sports fans and forms a vital part of Manchester’s packed autumn programme – that also features an NBA pre-season basketball game, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, Super-league Grand Final and the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix.”
Broadcast details will be confirmed closer to the tournament start date.
The AJ Bell World Squash Championship takes place from October 26 to November 3, with the quarter-finals onwards hosted at the internationally known, Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex).The tournament forms part of UK Sport’s Gold Events series and tickets are now available from Ticketmaster by ringing 0844 847 2508 or visiting www.