The one-frame knockout tournament was first staged in 2011 and it is among the most thrilling events on the calendar, with high drama ensured by a shot clock and matches lasting a maximum of ten minutes.

From this season it will be shown on free-to-air television for the first time, thanks to a new three-year deal between World Snooker and ITV.

The 2016 event will run from February 12 to 14, with 64 players battling for the £32,000 top prize.

Michael White lifted the trophy last season after beating Xiao Guodong by potting four balls in the last 40 seconds of an incredible final.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to bring the Shoot-Out to a free-to-air audience for the first time. It’s a fabulous event which has proved extremely popular for the fans in the arena and those at home.

“ITV4 have shown tremendous support for snooker in recent seasons, with live coverage of the Champion of Champions and World Grand Prix. They are clearly very happy with the viewing figures achieved as they continue to build their portfolio of snooker events with the Shoot-Out.

“It’s great news for fans that coverage on ITV4 is ensured for the next three years and we look forward to another weekend of sensational snooker in February.”

The venue and ticket details for the tournament will be announced soon.