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  • If you like your sport loud

  • colorful

  • and full of world class competitors then darts is the one for you.

  • Welcome to the Alexandra Palace, London.

  • In an era where sports like golf, tennis and Formula 1

  • are all clamouring to retain crowds and maintain TV audiences,

  • darts is a sport that is showing year on year growth in all areas.

  • Traditionally a pub sport, the most commonly played version of darts is 501.

  • The object is for one player to be the first to reach zero from a starting total of 501.

  • In simple terms, after each set of three darts are thrown,

  • the throwing player then subtracts the total scored from their current total until they reach zero.

  • And ensuring, of course, they finish on a double.

  • Darts grew a large television following through the 1970s and 80s in the U.K.,

  • making household names out of players like Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson,

  • with their fame comparable to soccer stars of the same time.

  • It wasn't until the early 1990s that darts was taken to a whole new level,

  • when a player dispute meant a split from the British Darts Organization

  • to form a breakaway tour, known as the PDC, the Professional Darts Corporation.

  • Over the last quarter century, the PDC, partnered with U.K. broadcaster Sky Sports,

  • has grown into a multi-million dollar empire.

  • And now each year, more than 80,000 fans gather here for its crown jewel event,

  • the World Darts Championship, and a party at the palace.

  • This year, the championship has expanded from 72 to 96 competitors,

  • including, for the first time, two guaranteed places in the draw for female players,

  • with the total prize fund now over $3 million.

  • Players from 28 countries and six continents are competing for a $630,000 winner's prize fund

  • and of course the impressive Sid Waddell Trophy.

  • The 2019 edition of the World Darts Championship is the sport's biggest ever competition.

  • A lot of the problems in other sports don't exist in darts.

  • It is a party, with a world class sporting event, wrapped into one.

  • And an enthusiastic darts crowd are always ready to add to the atmosphere,

  • not that they need much encouragement.

  • In the past there's been a little bit of snobbishness amongst some circles,

  • looking down their nose, "Oh, it's only darts."

  • Well now, all of those sports wish they were only darts.

  • Money brokers and city bankers, they'll all be here, sitting alongside the guys that work in

  • petrol forecourts or garages, or builders, all united with the aim of having a great time.

  • The PDC will again be taking its tour to a variety of venues around Europe in 2019,

  • including events in Germany and the Netherlands.

  • Previous years have even seen tournaments as far away as Las Vegas, Dubai and Shanghai.

  • They've created an in-venue experience that's fantastic for the fans,

  • but it translates effectively and professionally onto TV.

  • A very important part of that is the consistency of the product,

  • each time you watch darts on TV, you recognize it.

  • Times have changed when it comes to player sponsorship as well.

  • Gone are the days of small local businesses adorning the flamboyant player shirts.

  • Now they've been replaced by multinational corporations

  • which are now part of the darting landscape.

  • It's massive for everyone, sponsorship, because whatever that pays, it's sort of guaranteed money.

  • On tours you have to go out and win games.

  • I'm very lucky with all my sponsors, in fairness, they all support me, never put pressure on me.

  • We do a lot of corporate things, SAP, we go out, we see them, put some exhibitions on.

  • Darts is easily one of the most popular televised sports in the U.K.,

  • regularly out-performing some Premier League soccer matches.

  • In 2018, more than 20,000 darts fans crammed into an arena in Germany for a one-off event

  • and there are talks to one day even make it an Olympic sport.

  • Hi guys, Adam here, thanks for watching.

  • Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe in the places below.

  • Let us know as well any other sports videos you think we should be covering at CNBC.

  • See you next time.

If you like your sport loud

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How darts moved from the pub to the world stage | CNBC Sports

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    Summer posted on 2020/06/08
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