BBC confirms PDC Champions League of Darts plans

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The BBC will cover its first ever Professional Darts Corporation event this September as it brings the world’s elite players together for the inaugural Unibet Champions League of Darts, live across BBC One and BBC Two.

Featuring the top eight players from the PDC Order of Merit following July’s World Matchplay, the Champions League of Darts will feature 2016 PDC world champion Gary Anderson, ‘the best player of all time’ Phil Taylor and current world number one, Michael Van Gerwen.

BBC TV will broadcast all the action exclusively live from Cardiff across the weekend of September 24-25, with Jason Mohammad presenting the corporation’s coverage of its first PDC-staged tournament.

Commentary will come from Vassos Alexander and Dan Dawson and a panel of experts including Paul Nicholson, Mark Webster and Alan Warriner-Little, while roving reports and interviews will be provided by Caroline Barker.

Over the course of the two-day tournament, the eight darting stars will be split into two groups of four players kicking off with a round-robin phase, which runs through Saturday and concludes on Sunday afternoon.

The top two players from each group will then progress to knockout semi-finals and the final on Sunday evening, live on BBC Two, with a £100,000 first prize on offer for the eventual champion.

Alongside live TV coverage, BBC Sport will also stream all of the action on its popular live pages including rolling coverage and text updates, results, fans’ pictures, votes and debate on the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Philip Bernie, Head of TV Sport says: “BBC Sport is delighted to showcase the first ever Champions League of Darts and give terrestrial audiences the chance to watch top level PDC players compete.

“We welcome the exciting new tournament to the BBC where viewers can catch some of the biggest names in darts compete for the coveted title.”

In addition to coverage of the tournament itself, BBC One will air A Question of Sport Darts Special on 21 September with guests Michael Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis, while some of the BBC’s well-loved presenters from the world of sport, entertainment and radio have been on taking on BBC Sport’s nine dart challenge, including Dermot O’Leary, Greg James and Alex Jones.

BBC Radio 5 live’s Fighting Talk will also broadcast live from the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday 24 September from 10.30-11.30am with Barry Hearn joining the satirical sport show panel, who compete for points with their punditry.

The Unibet Champions League of Darts marks the first PDC tournament to be broadcast live on the BBC in the organisation’s 23-year history, with the BBC having covered the rival BDO World Darts Championships during the period, an association which came to end in January after almost four decades.

The two-day tournament, live and free-to-air on the BBC, promises to be one of the biggest showcases for professional darts in recent years and fans will be able to see all the action across the weekend of September 24-25.

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