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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Snooker signs five-year BBC deal
Shaun Murphy celebrates winning the world snooker title
7.8m people watched Shaun Murphy win the 2005 World Championship
Snooker stars have welcomed a World Snooker deal that will see the sport's major tournaments shown live on BBC television and online until May 2011.

The BBC will continue to screen the Grand Prix, the UK Championship, the Masters and the World Championship.

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan said: "I can't imagine the big events being shown on any other channel."

John Higgins added: "This keeps snooker in the public eye. We've a platform to build from over the next five years."

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry said: "The BBC's coverage of snooker has helped take the sport to where it is today."

Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of World Snooker, continued: "This is excellent news for the millions of snooker fans in Britain.

"In an era when many sports are turning to satellite networks for coverage, we are pleased to be keeping snooker on terrestrial television until at least 2011."

Live video coverage will also continue to be available online (to UK users only) on the BBC Sport website as part of the deal.

Meanwhile, The Pot Black Cup, a one-frame competition, will be shown on BBC 1, starting at 1300 BST on Saturday, 29 October on Grandstand.

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