It was rumoured for a while, but specialist sports channel Eurosport finally parted ways with Foxtel at the end of January. And while that didn’t affect the vast majority of sports fans, Eurosport covered a few things that other channels didn’t – with one of the most popular being the quiet, strategic and much-loved game of Snooker. Thankfully, Australian fans of the sport are not being left out in the cold.
Snooker Coverage in Australia
It was less than a year and a half ago that Eurosport announced they’d start broadcasting professional snooker to Australia, with extensive coverage of the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and the Home Nations series gaining them a loyal and passionate following. While viewer numbers may be a fraction of those of, say, the big football leagues, Eurosport’s snooker broadcasts have kept interest alive in a sport that’s more about strategy than spectacle.
What is Eurosport and Why Did it Move?
A France-based network that’s been broadcasting European sport to the world since 1989, Eurosport is one of those rare organisations that isn’t owned by a giant multinational TV operator – and as such, can team up with partners across the globe to deliver its channels. It’s owned by the Discovery network (better known for its documentary channels) and broadcasts to over 100 million people in 54 countries.
Because Eurosport wasn’t a core part of Foxtel’s own Fox Sports operation – and because it tends to carry more “niche” sports like snooker (as well as other significant sports like the Le Mans 24-hour race) – Foxtel cut it from the channel line-up at the end of January, leaving Eurosport free to partner with another company. The addition of Eurosport means that Discovery is now a major partner of Fetch TV, with eight channels on the platform.
Where to Find Your Eurosport
The good news is that Eurosport isn’t going away – it’s simply moved. And for dedicated snooker fans, it could actually be a good thing. You’ll now find Eurosport as a special-interest channel offering on the popular Fetch TV platform – and that opens up your options for watching it substantially.
Fetch TV delivers its channels via internet streaming, usually in partnership with ISPs (though you can just buy a box and sign up for it yourself if you like). What that means is instead of paying for the full-fat Foxtel Sports HD package along with the satellite box and installation, you can pick up one of the two Fetch boxes and gain access to Eurosport for only $8.99 per month.
Your choice comes down to how you’d prefer to get Fetch – and whether or not you want to own the box (something that’s not even an option with Foxtel!)
What About Free to Air?
In the past, dedicated fans have been able to find the occasional snooker replay on Australian free to air TV (veteran viewers will remember the regular ABC broadcasts of Pot Black!) But these days, if you’re keen on the sport and you want proper coverage, Eurosport’s the place to get it, thanks to their exclusive deal with World Snooker. That means coverage of major events like the Shanghai Masters, the English and Scottish Opens, the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix and many more.
How to Get Fetch TV
To get access to Fetch TV you need two things – one of the two Fetch set top boxes (the streaming-only Mini or the recording-enabled Mighty), and a broadband internet connection.
If you’re looking for to connect to a new broadband service, or are keen to try moving to a new one, you’ll be able to get a Fetch box via several broadband providers who’ve teamed up with Fetch to deliver the service. That’ll cost you between $5 and $15 per month for the box, and you’re only renting it – you’ll have to give it back if you pause or stop your Fetch TV service or change broadband providers. It can, though, be an easy one-step way to quickly get Fetch set up. Broadband providers offering Fetch as a bundled option include Aussie Broadband, iPrimus and iiNet.
We’d recommend, though, picking up a Fetch box outright. It’s especially affordable to grab the Fetch Mini, a brilliant little streaming box with a superb remote control (see our review of the Mini and its big brother for all the details). It’ll set you back $169, and is available from major retailers like JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and Bing Lee (you can even get one with your Qantas Frequent Flyer points!) The bigger Fetch box, the feature-packed Mighty, is not essential for your Eurosport viewing, but its ability to record hundreds of hours of TV may make it worth its heftier $449 price tag if you’re in the market for a DVR as well.
With either box, all you need to do is activate the service (which costs just one dollar) and then sign up for the Eurosport package, and you’re good to go!
Last audited 30 November 2020
The Best Broadband Provider for Eurosport
Regardless of which Fetch box you choose, if you’re going to be spending hours watching snooker championships and other sports via Eurosport – not to mention the 30 free movies per month that comes with Fetch TV – you’ll be wanting a broadband plan through a rock solid reliable network with unlimited data.
If you’re just after a broadband plan with low cost and no hidden extras, Belong Broadband is a great option. Their unlimited-data plan is a modest $65/month including a free modem on a 12-month contract, and they’re powered by the respected Telstra network.
Alternatively, if you still want access to the other sports you love, Telstra Broadband has a terrific bundle with unlimited broadband, a Foxtel iQ4 satellite setup and a combo of the Foxtel Plus and Sports HD channels packs. Add a Fetch box to that and you’ve got yourself a formidable sports viewing setup that’ll cover everything you want to watch.
Last audited 30 November 2020
Snooker on Australian TV – Dates and Times (AEDT)
|12-18 October||English Open||Marshall Arena, England||Eurosport|
Upcoming Snooker Events in 2020
|26-30 October||Championship League (3)||Marshall Arena, England||Eurosport|
|2-8 November||Champion Of Champions||Marshall Arena, England||Eurosport|
|16-22 November||Northern Ireland Open||Marshall Arena, England||Eurosport|
|24 November – 6 December||UK Championship||York, England||Eurosport|