Blackpool Waterloo hits tv jackpot

Waterloo - tv boost
Waterloo - tv boost
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Crown green bowling at the Waterloo Hotel stadium in South Shore has secured the biggest tv coverage in its century-long history.

ITV-4 have confirmed that they will cover the finals of the Co-Op Funeral Care Waterloo on September 20-21, while BT Sport is getting in on the act too.

They are to screen the event that rounds off the Waterloo season, the Flowfit Champion Of Champions tournament on September 24.

When ITV-4 brought back live tv coverage of the Waterloo in 2015, the event, won by Greg Smith, had viewing figures of 200,000, welcome news for the network and sponsors.

This season’s Waterloo gets under way on July 25 and the preliminary stages conclude on August 17.

Finals week commences with the last 64 on September 17, with the last 32 on the 19th and the last 16 on the 20th. The last eight takes place 24 hours later.

The Champion Of Champions at the Waterloo will be screened on-line on 247.tv.

The footage will be made into a series of 13 one-hour crown green bowling programmes to be broadcast on the BT Sport channel some time in the autumn.

There will be a similar tv arrangement for another of the country’s premier bowls event, the Flowfit Order Of Merit, which takes place at Llay in Wales on July 30.

Mark Audin, the Waterloo bowls manager, said: “This is another significant boost for crown green bowls, allowing the unique atmosphere associated with our sport to be accessible to a wider audience.

“This is very exciting times for crown green bowling.

“The Waterloo is getting back on track and we now have a great team.”

The coverage, much needed for the national projection of the sport, has been jointly-funded by the game’s governing body, the British Crown Green Bowling Association and the sponsors Flowfit.

The Waterloo is boasting a packed schedule in 2016.

The Charlie Tattersall 31-up competition continues with qualifiers from July 25 with the final 32 held on September 23.

From September 17 until the 25th there will be a full schedule of bowls in Blackpool.

That includes the ladies’ Waterloo on September 18.

Elsewhere in the town, the final of the men’s Talbot tournament takes place on September 22 at the Raikes Hall Hotel.

This is the oldest crown green tournament in the country.

The Waterloo hosts the ladies’ Champion Of Champions tournament on September 25 and itinerary includes the BCGBA mixed doubles competition at the Waterloo on October 1, while the Blackpool green also hosts to the British Park Merit on August 14, in which 64 players take part.