With the PDC World Championship odds already coming in, ahead of the 15th December start, you may have already decided who you’re going to back to walk away with the top sought-after prize money.
The masterminds behind this competition – the Professional Darts Corporation – were originally named the World Darts Council (WDC) when they first formed back in January 1992. The group was formed after 16 of the top professional players, as well as their managers, made the decision to break about from the British Darts Organisation, in the hopes of taking their careers to the next level – by going worldwide. Along with their new title, the corporation is now also the leading professional body for darts, with the ability to pay out over £10 million across all global tournaments!
The first UK masters, run by the WDC, played out in October 1992, before the next step was taken and the first darts worldwide tournament was launched between 1993 and 1994, going on to establish today’s continued partnership with Sky Sports. In the following summer of 1994, the World Matchplay competition was held, followed four years later by the World Grand Prix, giving darts three major televised events to boast about.
In 2001, things were shaken up yet again, with the original Board of Directors deciding to step down from the renamed PDC, in favour of a more specialise team taking their places. The organisation was now set to be run by the well-known promotor Barry Hearn, taking his place as the Chairman.
Since then, the PDC has continued to build up a strong reputation and is widely known as the leading innovator of all professional darts tournaments. The corporation has come along on leaps and bounds over the years, consistently looking towards the future and finding new ways to improve both the playing and the viewing of professional darts.
The Darts Premier League was introduced in 2005, much to the fans’ delight. The event has since proved to be a sell-out affair across venues in both the UK and Ireland, as well as branching out into the Netherlands in 2016.
Next, the PDC developed the Grand Slam of Darts in 2007, acting as a collaboration between themselves and the British Darts Organisation, featuring the top players from each party. We now also get coverage of the European Championship and the Players Championship Finals thanks to the PDC, allowing fans to branch out and watch competitions outside of the UK circuit.
In short, as show with the PDC World Championship, the organisations main aim has been to spread the coverage of professional darts competitions worldwide. And really, they’d done just that. The PDC have forged affiliations, and gone on to participate in regional tours, in Australia, New Zealand, China, Russia and Scandinavia.
The international growth of the sport has seen international qualifiers competing in the biggest event that darts has to offer – the World Darts Championship – which is usually held at Alexandra Palace in London. This year will be no different, so you should expect to see the familiar venue on your screens as the players battle for a change to raise the mighty Sid Waddell Trophy.