Sky Sports nets world crabbing TV rights

Sky Sports has won the TV rights to screen the World Series of Crabbing live from across East Anglia this summer.

In an exclusive deal worth £50million, the World Series of Crabbing (WSOC) will feature four championship events screened live on Sky, building up to a grand final in Walberswick, Suffolk in August.

With Sky Sports shelling out millions there has never been a better time to catch crabs, and this year’s series is expected to attract high-profile crabbers from around the world.

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But what makes the sport most appealing is that children can enter the WSOC event, making it possible an eight-year-old could win the final and pocket the £1 million first prize.

The WSOC today unveiled the dates for the events, which will all take place on a Sunday afternoon, beginning in Cromer, Norfolk, on July 9:

Cromer, Norfolk, July 9
Orford, Suffolk, July 23
Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, August 6
Bawdsey, Suffolk, August 13
Walberswick, Suffolk, Grand Final, August 27

Pincer movement: Participants jostle to get the best crabbing spot at Walberswick

The championship events will be scored by who has caught the most crabs in an hour-long period. All participants will get a point per crab, and the 20 crabbers with the highest score from all events combined will be invited to the exclusive grand final, which is expected to draw a television audience of millions.

Crabbers use their skills to attract the most custaceans, but bacon is a popular bait. Only one line is allowed per crabber. Although seen as a leisurely sport, things can get feisty as crabbers seek the best spot on shoreline.

Sky Sports, which will screen the events in high-definition, is expected to bring a host of innovations to the coverage, including slow-motion underwater replays of a great catch, fancy in-studio graphics, multiple on and off-shore camera angles, together with some of the sport’s greatest commentators and analysts.

WSOC director Gary “Sideways” Walker told the Suffolk Gazette: “We are delighted to have Sky Sports on board to televise the championship events and Grand Final, it will really put crabbing on the map.

“And it will also be a great advert for Suffolk and Norfolk, where young people have enjoyed catching crabs for generations.”

Meanwhile, academics have received funding to investigating why residents of Cromer walk sideways.

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