UKTV channel Dave has linked up with the British Darts Organisation to bring darts fans live coverage of the 2016 BDO World Trophy at Lakeside Country Club.
Taking place over the May Bank Holiday weekend (May 28-30) at the spiritual home of BDO darts, Dave will broadcast ten hours of live free-to-air coverage of the World Trophy each day, starting daily from 12.00pm, featuring all of the organisation’s top male and female players.
The tournament marks the channel’s first foray into darts coverage and follows on from its recent successful live boxing debut, when a record-breaking peak audience of 3.2 million watched David Haye’s comeback fight in January.
This year’s World Trophy boasts a prize fund of £150,000, which will incorporate £50,000 for a nine-dart finish, and feature all of the BDO’s biggest names, including reigning World Champions Scott Waites and Trina Gulliver MBE.
Other names to look out for include Glen Durrant, Martin Adams, Scott Mitchell, Deta Hedman, Lisa Ashton, with wildcards for Jeff Smith, Andy Fordham and Ted Hankey.
Commenting on the deal with UKTV, event promoter Frank Warren said: “Though I have worked predominantly in boxing for nearly 40 years, I have also promoted and been involved in various other sports and entertainment ventures throughout my career.
“I am delighted to have been part of setting this event up and securing the BDO one of the UK’s leading broadcasters for the event.
“In my opinion, Dave is the perfect channel for the event and with it taking place at Lakeside, the iconic home of British darts, I am sure the atmosphere will be electric.”
The World Trophy event was set up by the BDO in 2014 and the first two tournaments were broadcast by Eurosport.
The agreement is separate from the BDO World Darts Championship, which had been covered by the BBC until the corporation axed its coverage following the 2016 tournament.
A number of broadcasters, including UKTV, Channel 4 and BT Sport, are thought to be interested in taking over the rights after the BBC walked away from the event following 38 years of coverage, deciding instead to cover the new Champions League of Darts tournament organised by the BDO’s rivals, the Professional Darts Corporation.
Richard Watsham, director of commissioning at UKTV said: “This is an exciting time for the BDO and I’m thrilled that we’re able to bring Dave viewers the BDO World Trophy, free to air and live from Lakeside, the home of world darts.
“This is an important step for Dave as we continue to expand into important new genres such as live sport.”
Steve North, Dave general manager, said: “We are constantly looking for new opportunities and show ideas for Dave to keep our audiences entertained.
“After the incredible experience we had with the David Haye fight at the start of the year we are delighted to be delving further into the sporting world by partnering with the BDO in what is a fantastic opportunity to offer fans extended live coverage of the BDO World Trophy.”
Sue Williams, Chairman of the BDO, added: “Our exciting new partnership with UKTV and Frank is certain to delight all of the BDO’s loyal members and fans.
“We look forward to working with Dave on the opening event of a new era for the BDO. The World Trophy is set to be an excellent few days of top level darts.”
Dave’s live coverage, which will be produced by Input Media, will start at 12.00pm on each day of the event finishing at 10.00pm, ensuring darts fans don’t miss a moment of the action.
Details of the on-site presentation and commentary team will be announced in the coming weeks.
Dave is available on Sky channel 111, Virgin 128, Freeview 12, BT & TalkTalk 12, as well as on-demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play.