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Darts on TV


Darts on TV

Darts has become the second most-watched Sport on Sky TV. Second only to football, as some call it, Soccer. Darts hasn't had an easy relationship with TV broadcasters, and transitioning from a tap-room pub game to the World Stage has taken some time. The Sport was first featured on British TV as part of the World of Sport Special broadcast of the News of the World individual World Championships, arguably the hardest darts event to win at the time as every round was the best of three legs. Later darts featured as part of the 'Indoor League' hosted by former Yorkshire Cricketer Fred Trueman, and then, the first series was played on a Yorkshire Dartboard, a dartboard without a trebles bed or outer Bullseye.

Indoor League featured several pub games, including pool, bar skittles, arm wrestling and shove ha'penny. But it was the darts that the viewers seemed to enjoy the most. Later the BBC commissioned the first World Darts Championships. The BBC contacted the British Darts Organisation (BDO), who arranged and managed the tournament; hence the love of TV darts first Started.

Like most sports, darts have always had wagers placed upon the outcome. If you were playing in a local pub, the bet might be for a pint of beer. Then the money racers where pubs sponsored their best players to compete against another. But today, punters are more informed and have track records and head-to-head comparisons to work with. Bookmakers sometimes allow you to change your bet or cash-in mid-match. You can have a bet on the most 180s hit if you believe the player you are betting on is likely to hit the most, or indeed a popular nine-dart finish, the pinnacle of and leg of darts. If you have a smartphone, then the easiest way is to download an app. Smartphone betting app offers can be instant and give you many betting opportunities other than a straight player win option.


Barry Hearn - Darts


The biggest growth in the Sport came when Barry Hearn was asked to take on the Chairmanship of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). Barry had a vision and could see the humble Sport played by millions could be a worldwide success. Initially, it wasn't an easy sell. Barry, a former snooker and boxing promotor, struggled to sell his vision to the TV broadcasters, but he had an ace up his sleeve that other promotors couldn't match. If the broadcaster wanted to broadcast the boxing, they had to take the darts! It worked, and that broadcaster was Sky Sports.


Darts on TV Previous Events

Previous TV events played under the BDO code were played under 'the best of order please!' The fans were kept quiet with the occasional clap at the end of a leg or set. Barry had another vision of filling vast venues with thousands of fans enjoying some of the biggest parties on the planet. It worked; the players loved it, the fans loved it, the sponsors loved it, and the TV producers suddenly realised they had a massive success on their hands that they had to initially be persuaded to take.

Darts now features on TV channels all over the World. The major TV companies now know that when packaged correctly, darts stand up to other major sports easily when they review their viewing figures. The prize money has also increased to £16M on the PDC circuit in 2022, plus players can also gain sponsorship from manufacturers or local businesses who all want presents on TV.


Drama and Awards

Darts has also brought some of the best drama within Sport. With last-leg deciders, the fortunes can change and turn in one missed dart. Some players like Trina Gulliver, the former ten-time women's World Champion, John Lowe, and the late Eric Bristow all received an MBE for services to the Sport, making it truly a sport worth credence. The bookmakers find the Sport fantastic as it allows them to create various options that other sports just can't offer.






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