Chinese tune in for action at Crucible

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TENS of millions of people in China were glued to their television sets to see the action in Sheffield during the World Snooker Championship.

Organisers, who have already released details of viewing figures for coverage on the BBC, said the second session of the Ding Junhui versus Judd Trump semi-final was the highest rated sports programme of 2011 to date, achieving an average audience of 19.4 million, peaking at nearly 30 million.

During the Championship, programmes on CCTV 5 in China achieved average audiences of more than 10 million, while five had peak audiences of over 20 million. CCTV 5 was one of seven broadcasters showing the championship in China.

The BBC has already revealed that an average of 3.9 million people watched televised evening sessions and two million viewed afternoon sessions. Average audience for the final was 50 per cent above last year, at 3.9 million.