Matchroom Sport is a sporting event promotions company founded by English entrepreneur Barry Hearn and run by Hearn and his son Eddie Hearn. It first came to attention in the sports of snooker and boxing and is also involved in pool, bowling, golf, fishing, darts, table tennis, poker and gymnastics. The company is based in Brentwood, Essex. Matchroom has a comprehensive broadcasting agreement in the United Kingdom with Sky Sports as well as both the BBC and ITV.
- 1 History
- 2 Boxing
- 2.1 Current stable
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Matchroom formed in 1982 concentrating on snooker management with the likes of Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor, and Jimmy White under contract before branching out into other sports with Hearn’s first foray into boxing promotion being Frank Bruno vs. Joe Bugner heavyweight clash in 1987 in front of 35,000 people at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground.
After ten years, Matchroom Sport TV became publicly traded, with the company starting to move in the direction of event ownership, promotion, and television. The vast range of sports increased with the Mosconi Cup, an event which has become the biggest in pool as the Europe and USA go head to head in the richest event of the 9-ball pool calendar.
Matchroom Sport also promote the World Cup of Pool, a national team scotch doubles event, and the World Pool Masters, an annual nine-ball event.
The Mosconi Cup is notable for having evolved from an exhibition event in the early years, into a genuinely prestigious tournament. Early Mosconi Cup contests were characterised by a team of some of America's most charismatic players taking on a European team of mainly British snooker players, in an attempt to promote nine-ball in the UK. More recent instances of the event have been staged in a much more serious manner, although the raucous crowd atmosphere has been retained, making it unique among cue sports competitions.
Over the years, Matchroom’s portfolio under Hearn grew dramatically, taking a majority stake in the Professional Darts Corporation in 2001, helping oversee a boom in a sport which has seen arenas filled worldwide and some of the highest viewing figures in sport to match it. Prize funds increasing from £500,000 in 2001 to now around the £15 million mark a season.
In the same year, Hearn formed the PGA EuroPro Tour, the UK’s leading developmental golf tour in association with the PGA. Later in the 2000s came ten pin bowling’s premier occasion, the Weber Cup.
In 2009, Barry Hearn became the majority shareholder in World Snooker Tour Ltd. Since then the sport has grown, with prize money increased and new events introduced worldwide.
More recently, Matchroom has launched the World Championship of Ping Pong, Superstars of Gymnastics, British Basketball All-Stars, and British Fast5 Netball All-Stars.
In April 2021, Barry Hearn stepped down as Chairman with his son Eddie taking over the role. Barry will continue as President in a advisory role, while his son takes on the role as head of PGA EuroPro tour alongside overseeing Matchroom's wider operations and continuing to head the Boxing division.
- Matchroom Sport homepage
- Matchroom Boxing homepage
- Official website of the Mosconi Cup