World Snooker Championship 2021: what time is it on and how to watch on TV

The biggest event in the snooker calendar just around the corner, and the sport's elite competitors are gearing up behind the scenes in preparation for the 2021 World Snooker Championship.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 12:30 pm

The annual tournament will see the creme de la creme of snooker descent on Sheffield's Crucible theatre to battle it out for the coveted title, after Australian ace Neil Robertson picked up the UK Championship earlier in the year, and Chinese star Yan Bingtao scooped the Masters.

Here's a rundown of everything you need to know about the 2021 World Snooker Championship.

What happened in the qualifying stages?

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World Snooker Championship 2021: how to watch. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The qualifying rounds took place earlier in the month, and saw sixteen players progress to join the top sixteen seeds in the world rankings for the full tournament.

While the qualifying stage is usually of little interest to anyone beyond real fanatics of the sport, the return of former star Stephen Hendry to the game sparked a wider interest in the initial stages of the competition.

He beat fellow snooker legend Jimmy White 6-3, but subsequently crashed out of the next stage of the qualifiers, after suffering a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Chinese player Xu Si.

Veteran Alan McManus went out at the qualification stages after losing to Chinese teenager Bai Langning, and has now retired from the sport.

When is the main event?

The 2021 Snooker World Championship, which is held at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, starts on 17th April and culminates with the best-of-35-frames Final, which takes place over the course of the Early May Bank Holiday weekend (2nd and 3rd May)

How can I watch it on TV?

Full coverage of the main competition is available on the BBC, via live TV broadcasts, the iPlayer app, and the BBC Sport website.

BBC Sport will get their coverage underway at 10:00 tomorrow morning, and it will roll through to 22:30 each day, spread across the aforementioned platforms

Eurosport also have a share of the TV rights, and will provide coverage via their TV channel, and their own app, with a comprehensive programme of coverage mirroring that of the BBC.

Who are the favourites to win the competition?

As things stand, bookmakers SkyBet have world number one Judd Trump as the 11/4 favourite to win the competition.

Ronnie O'Sullivan (4/1), Neil Robertson (5/1), Mark Selby (8/1), and the aforementioned Higgins (9/1) and are among the other players who the bookies think could be in with a shot of glory.

Will fans be allowed in to watch?

As COVID restrictions in England are eased, the Snooker World Championships have been selected as the first sporting event to trial the return of spectators.

1000 fans are set to be allowed in to watch the action unfold each day, under Government plans to trial welcoming fans back to sports.

This scheme will culminate on May 15th, when 21,000 people will be able to attend the Carabao Cup Final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

What's the prize money like?

The winner of the 2021 Snooker World Championship will walk away with £500,000, taken from a total prize fund of £2,385,000.

If a player manages to rack up a maximum break of 147 during the main tournament, they'll scoop an additional bonus of £40,000.