Darts: PDC takes video route with home competition announcement

(Reuters) - The world’s top darts players will take part in a 32-night competition from within their own homes to entertain fans starved of live sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has said.

All players with a PDC tour card can participate in the event, which will be launched on Friday and made available to fans via video calls from the competitors' homes, it added in a statement here.

Four players will face each other in a best-of-nine legs format to crown a winner each night, with the 32 winners advancing to a second phase of competition.

“It gives me great excitement that we are able to deliver live darts to fans in these unprecedented times,” PDC chairman Barry Hearn said.

“The event will give players a chance to play competitive darts in this down period in preparation for the return to normal action, whenever that may be.”

The competition will be live streamed on PDCTV to all registered users for free, as well as on several bookmakers’ websites.

The coronavirus outbreak has decimated the global sporting calendar, with several major events, including the 2020 Olympic Games, postponed by up to a year, while others, such as the Open Championship and Wimbledon, have been cancelled.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger