Pool fans across the globe tuned in in huge numbers to enjoy the inaugural Predator Championship League Pool, which delivered 192 exciting matches before Albin Ouschan lifted the trophy on Monday evening.
The brand-new event brought 19 of the world’s best players together over eight action-packed days of high-octane pool. Players embraced the new format, which created some dramatic finishes as the battle to reach each day’s play-offs intensified.
While the likes of Chris Melling, Eklent Kaci and David Alcaide won groups relatively early in their campaigns, Niels Feijen and in particular Albin Ouschan played through several groups before reaching the Winners’ Group, which was eventually won by Ouschan after the Austrian had played 52 matches during the event.
UK coverage of Table 1 was available on FreeSports, with replays the following day. Viewing figures grow throughout the week after a strong start as fans stuck with the event and new viewers tuned in to witness the drama.
DAZN coverage also proved popular with pool fans in countries including USA, Germany and Austria while Matchroom.Live saw a huge increase in visitors for the event.
In addition, over 1million views were accumulated on Matchroom Pool’s YouTube Channel, where one match each day was available for fans to enjoy free. On Facebook, over 6 million pool fans were reached across the tournament, with almost 7 million video views.
The format had been borrowed from the popular Championship League Snooker and proved a hit with fans thanks to the high number of quick, short-race matches between some of the world’s finest. Also a hit was the inclusion of three of the world’s best female players; Kelly Fisher, Kristina Tkach and Jasmin Ouschan. All three proved themselves in the event, with Fisher playing through four groups including reaching the Group Two final.
Emily Frazer, Managing Director of Matchroom Multi Sport, said: “We are quite simply over the moon with the response received from our inaugural Predator Championship League Pool. It is always tough to implement a new event but all the hard work was quickly outweighed by the daily reaction from fans worldwide.
“We were anticipating a substantial viewership with it being the first professional pool event out of the tracks since the 2020 Mosconi Cup, with fans across the globe yearning for live pool. However, better yet – figures presented a growing increase as well as consistency with viewers maintaining interest throughout the full eight days watching the tournament and players progress.
“Due to set-backs early on with the current climate and the pandemic, we were unable to showcase a full international field as we’d have hoped, however viewership and feedback simply proves how 9-ball pool is both exhilarating and easy-to-watch for every casual sports fan out there and has a strong future ahead.
“The tournament was an incredible opportunity for some players who usually wouldn’t have the chance to participate, nor receive the recognition, and despite not making the Winners’ Group, they displayed fantastic triumph against some of the best; it was great watching Kelly Fisher dominate in matches and groups against her male competitors, such as Philippine’s Roberto Gomez and Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski, who all performed consistently.
“We all witnessed an enduring and entertaining eight-day grind of 192 pool matches and we are so pleased to not only have created a new event, but strengthened our Matchroom Pool stable; producing high quality, world-class pool and production for our loyal fans plus a new audience too.
“Thank you to the players, our partners and the staff who all worked so hard to make this exciting event happen, with a special congratulations to our newly-crowned Champion, Albin Ouschan, who displayed an exceptional performance, relentlessness, drive and flair from start to finish.
“We are looking forward to our most exciting year of pool and like every event we produce there are always ways to improve and we are already enraptured about our next edition of Predator Championship League Pool.”
Predator Championship League Pool will return in 2022. The next event on the Matchroom Pool Series is the World Cup of Pool, which will take place at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes from May 9-14, live on Sky Sports.