BBC to cover PDC Champions League of Darts until 2019

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The Champions League of Darts will continue to be broadcast free-to-air on the BBC until at least 2019 under a new deal with the Professional Darts Corporation.

Featuring eight of the best players in the world, the two-day event was first staged in September 2016 and marked the debut of live PDC darts on the BBC, with the corporation having ended its long association with the BDO World Championships earlier that year.

Phil Taylor claimed victory in the first Champions League of Darts final held at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena as he defeated world champion Michael van Gerwen 11-5 in the final.

Ahead of the 2017 edition of the £250,000 tournament, which will be held on September 16-17 in Cardiff, the PDC have now extended their contract with the BBC until 2019, extending the terrestrial coverage of the event for the next two years.

As in 2016, the eight qualified players will be split into two groups of four, the opening three sessions featured a round-robin format, before the top two players in each group progressed to the semi-finals and final.

In addition to the new TV deal, a change to the qualifying criteria for the event will guarantee that the reigning champion will return to defend his title, irrespective of their ranking.

Commenting on the BBC’s renewal, PDC chairman Barry Hearn said:

“The Unibet Champions League of Darts was a massive success last year and this new deal is a reflection of how delighted the BBC were to have the very best players in the sport on terrestrial TV.

“There is already great anticipation ahead of this year’s Champions League, which promises to be two fantastic days of high-quality action.

“The standard of darts on the circuit has continued to soar this year and we’ve seen some fantastic televised events already, but the Unibet Champions League of Darts on the BBC will be another marvellous weekend.”

The 2017 Unibet Champions League of Darts will feature two sessions on each day on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17, starting at 1pm and 6.30pm, with live coverage across BBC TV and online.

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