As Sky Sports celebrates 25 years of broadcasting the World Darts Championship, the broadcaster has announced a new deal to keep the coverage on screens for another seven years.
“It would not be Christmas without the darts which has become an essential part of the festive period for Sky Sports. By continuing to show the biggest and best darts for a further seven years it’s the ideal Christmas gift for Sky Sports viewers. Alongside recent long-term deals for England cricket, EFL and F1 it’s yet another example of a hugely exciting future for our customers.” – Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports
The Professional Darts Corporation agreed the new seven-year broadcast deal with Sky which will see the coverage running until at least 2025, viewers will be able to watch the best of live darts throughout the year including the sport’s biggest tournament, the William Hill World Darts Championship, as well as the 16-week Unibet Premier League, and the prestigious BetVictor World Matchplay.
Sky Sports’ relationship with the PDC started in 1993 when it broadcast the World Championship, which has evolved from its first home at the Circus Tavern in Essex with 24 players and a prize pot of £64,000 to the world-famous Alexandra Palace in London with triple the number of competitors and a prize fund of £1.8million.
The new contract will give Sky Sports customers 60 days of live darts throughout each year, the broadcaster notes.
“We’re absolutely delighted that we have been able to extend our relationship with Sky Sports for a further seven years. The support of Sky Sports since the PDC was formed almost 25 years ago has been a vital part in the sport’s success since then, and it will be fantastic for them to continue their superb coverage of these six major tournaments until at least 2025. The 2017/2018 William Hill World Darts Championship promises to be the best yet as the sport’s amazing global growth continues, and this is fantastic news to kick off the most exciting period of the year.” – PDC Chairman Barry Hearn
For the first time Sky Sports customers are to be offered dedicated darts programming across the year; including The Darts Show a monthly magazine programme exclusive to the Sky Sports Action & Arena channels from January 2018. The William Hill World Darts Championship started airing for its winter 2017 run last week.