The origins of Matchroom Sport came in the mid-1970s when chartered accountant Barry Hearn became Chairman of Lucania Snooker Clubs, a UK-wide chain. Developing an interest in the sport, Hearn became the manager of aspiring snooker pro Steve Davis in 1978. What followed was an unprecedented explosion in British sport that saw snooker become the nation’s No.1 TV sport with Hearn and Davis at the forefront.
In 1982, Matchroom Sport was formed in offices in Romford, Essex as the company became the pre-eminent management company in snooker, managing the eight biggest names in the game including four World Champions.
Having dominated snooker, Matchroom Sport branched out in to boxing, promoting the Frank Bruno v Joe Bugner heavyweight clash at Tottenham Hotspur football ground in 1987 in front of 35,000 people.
In 1990 Matchroom Sport TV began trading as the company started to move in the direction of event ownership, promotion and television.
Throughout the 1990’s Matchroom began to add more and more diverse sports to its portfolio of events as they built an increasingly stronger client base of major broadcasters around the world.
Boxing has continued to be a major part of Matchroom’s output over the years and the innovation of Prizefighter has changed the face of boxing as televised entertainment.
Led by Eddie Hearn, Matchroom’s promotional stable of boxers includes World Champions and Olympians from Anthony Joshua to Katie Taylor, Callum Smith to Josh Warrington and many, many more top boxers globally.
Matchroom currently promote 20 fight nights per year, all broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and worldwide on DAZN. The Froch vs. Groves II show at Wembley Stadium in May 2014 broke numerous records and went down as one of, if not the, biggest UK boxing show in history. In 2018, Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley stadium broke more records with the biggest heavyweight fight crowd in over 90 years and a new box office record.
Matchroom have been staging the tournaments the world’s best players all want to play in since 1993.
Pool’s high-octane version of golf’s Ryder Cup, the PartyPoker Mosconi Cup pits two five-man teams in intense battle over four days of play. The PartyPoker Mosconi Cup is pool’s biggest brand, and the most dramatic event in the billiards calendar.
The World Pool Masters is Pool’s longest running invitational event and sees 24 stars from around the world compete over three days for one of the most celebrated titles in the pool world.
The World Cup of Pool sees two-player teams from 32 countries compete in a straight knock out format over six days for a $250,000 prize-fund. With national pride at stake, the competition is intense and there are plenty of upsets in store.
The US Open Pool Championship is pool’s longest-running major and was acquired by Matchroom Sport ahead of its 43rd staging. Propelled onto the global TV stage under Matchroom stewardship, the US Open Pool Championship now boasts a $375,000 prize fund with 256 players from around the world doing battle for the biggest singles title in 9-ball.
In 2020, Matchroom Pool acquired the rights in perpetuity to host the World Pool Championship in a ground-breaking agreement with the WPA. The World Pool Championship joins Matchroom Pool’s portfolio of major events and will benefit from increased prize money and global TV coverage.
Fish’O’Mania is still the only live fishing event in the world and has been a British institution for nearly two decades and Fish’O’Mania International now sees nations compete against one another.
Since the late 1990’s Matchroom have set the standard with televised tenpin bowling, the Weber Cup continues to be the benchmark by which all other TV bowling is judged.
The PGA EuroPro Tour is Europe’s leading developmental golf tour and has been in Matchroom’s portfolio since 2001 and in that same year, Matchroom Chairman Barry Hearn acquired a majority shareholding in the Professional Darts Corporation.
In the intervening years, under the stewardship of Matchroom, the PDC has gone from strength to strength as darts has grown into a major sport in the UK with current prize funds totalling over £10 million.
In December 2009, Barry Hearn became the majority shareholder in World Snooker Ltd with a powerful manifesto that promised to take the game to new heights across the globe. Since then the sport has grown and grown, with prize money increased from £3.5million in 2009, to over £16 million for the 2019/20 season with a host of new events introduced over the last five years.
Producing up to 2,500 hours of original programming on an annual basis, Matchroom Sport are committed to creating cost effective ratings for their broadcast clients as well as global exposure for their sponsors.
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