Video views on the World Snooker Tour Facebook page for April and May this year have surpassed the total for the same months in 2019, despite the lack of live sport.
Last year, video views for those two months totalled 13.2 million. The equivalent figure for 2020 was topped this week and is likely to reach 14 million by the end of May.
The figure for ‘minutes viewed’ for April and May in 2019 was 17.1 million, while for the same two months in 2020 it is already over 28 million.
Last year that time period covered part of the China Open plus the whole of the Betfred World Championship, including the qualifying rounds and the main event.
To compensate for the lack of live action this year, WST ran a ‘Crucible Gold’ series during the original dates of the Betfred World Championship, showing classic moments from previous decades.
A range of archive content from other tournaments, including ‘Decide Your Decider’ and ‘Classic Frames’ series, also generated high volumes of traffic. Other innovations from WST included the running of the first ever Virtual World Championship using official video game Snooker 19, a series showcasing the best up-and-coming amateur talent, and the ‘Ironing Board Challenge’ where players and fans recreated great snooker moments in their living rooms.
WST’s Head of Media Ivan Hirschowitz said: “It has been a fantastic effort from our digital team to generate ideas and deliver content to plug the void. We didn’t expect to exceed last year’s Facebook figures, given the absence of our biggest tournament.
“We have had a captive audience with many fans at home in lockdown. These numbers and the level of engagement show that they have enjoyed the range of archive and new videos. We have been pleasantly surprised at how well some of the content has done, for example the 2019 Women’s Tour Championship final, which we broadcast in April using Facebook’s Premiere option, had 670,000 views, which shows the appetite for top class women’s snooker. Analysing the data from the past two months will help us to shape our content strategy going forward.
“In very tough times, hopefully we have provided entertainment for sports fans around the world on Facebook and our other social platforms. We are now looking forward to the return of live snooker from Monday with the Matchroom.Live Championship League.”