clash royale hack gunpixel.com mobilelegendstool.us robloxtool.com clashroyaletool.info mrcoinsfifa.com besthomescapes.com
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
From the Publisher
By Mike Panozzo
Mike became editor of Billiards Digest in 1980 and liked it so much that he bought the company. He has served on the Billiard Congress of America board of directors and as president of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America.


Archives
• November 2017
• October 2017
• September 2017
• August 2017
• July 2017
• June 2017
• May 2017
• April 2017
• March 2017
• February 2017
• January 2017
• December 2016
• November 2016
• October 2016
• September 2016
• August 2016
• July 2016
• June 2016
• May 2016
• Apr 2016
• Mar 2016
• Feb 2016
• Jan 2016
• Dec 2015
• Nov 2015
• Oct 2015
• Sept 2015
• August 2015
• July 2015
• June 2015
• May 2015
• April 2015
• March 2015
• February 2015
• January 2015
• October 2014
• August 2014
• May 2014
• February 2014
• September 2013
• June 2013
• May 2013
• April 2013
• March 2013
• February 2013
• January 2013
• December 2012
• November 2012
• October 2012
• September 2012
• August 2012
• July 2012
• June 2012
• May 2012
• April 2012
• March 2012
• February 2012
• January 2012
• December 2011
• November 2011
• October 2011
• September 2011
• August 2011
• July 2011
• June 2011
• May 2011
• April 2011
• March 2011
• February 2011
• January 2011
• December 2010
• November 2010
• October 2010
• September 2010
• August 2010
• July 2010
• June 2010
• May 2010
• April 2010
• March 2010
• February 2010
• January 2010
• December 2009
• November 2009
• October 2009
• September 2009
• August 2009
• July 2009
• June 2009
• May 2009
• April 2009
• March 2009
• February 2009
• January 2009
• October 2008
• September 2008
• August 2008
• July 2008
• June 2008
• May 2008
• April 2008
• March 2008
• February 2008
• January 2008
 
Mar: Three's Company
March 2014
I've seen pool's future, and it's on my laptop.

In recent weeks I've had the opportunity to watch plenty of live televised pool action. Both the World Professional Billiard League playoffs and the Women's Professional Billiard Association Masters were broadcast live on ESPN3, and I have to admit I enjoyed it!

Admittedly, at first I dismissed the significance of the broadcasts as yet another step backwards for pool. There was a time when pool was a staple on ESPN. Most readers are probably too young to remember when the WPBA had almost all of its annual 10-stop Classic Tour championships aired on ESPN and/or ESPN 2. Even the long-since-departed Professional Billiard Tour had a season's worth of events aired on cable.

Today, the men, of course, have no tour in the U.S., and the WPBA can't produce enough content to maintain a contract with ESPN. The last vestige of billiard competitions on ESPN proper are the trick shot shows and the women's Tournament of Champions, and that's on ESPN2.

And so, for the rest of pool, ESPN3 it is.

For the uninitiated, ESPN3 is an online streaming service. To ESPN's credit, the site has evolved from on-demand content to live events. The events tend to be overflow content from sports the cable network already, like the 400 nightly college basketball games. They now include the fringe sports that no longer have the muscle to squeeze into ESPN's cable programming lineup. Billiards has now been lumped into that category.

Again, my knee-jerk reaction has been that pool is being pushed farther and farther into sports' hinterland. It was only a matter of time, I thought, that pool programming would be available only in a sort of Pirate Radio version.

But the more I think about it, being on ESPN3 not such a bad thing.

For starters, is the downgrade really adversely affecting the billiard world? Billiard promoters haven't been able to lure significant sponsorship for events or sell significant advertising for their tournaments since the turn of the century, and the promoters shouldn't suffer because of what is perceived to be less exposure.

Besides, in the struggle to find a younger demographic, what better place to be than online? More than 21 million college students have free access to ESPN3 so long as they have an .edu IP address. And virtually anyone who has ESPN as part of their cable package can access ESPN3 on their desktop or laptop, or even better, Web TV!

Additionally, what's being shown still has to be deemed acceptable by ESPN as quality programming. No offense to producers of pool's current streaming content, but there is a difference. The Mosconi Cup, the WPBL playoffs and the WPBA Masters all offered top quality pool coverage.

What's more, by not having to adhere to the constraints of a time slot, the productions didn't have to edit out content, and, in fact, could include additional content vignettes, personality profiles, award presentations, etc.

But best of all, it's live.

Nothing beats the anticipation, excitement and drama of live sports programming. And I will admit that I was a much more engaged viewer watching the WPBA Masters live, as Ga Young Kim and Kelly Fisher battled down to a one-rack, sudden-death showdown

I can learn to live with this.

MORE VIDEO...