PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has revealed “interesting developments” are in progress over a potential expansion of professional darts in America….
Hearn pictured with the World Championship trophy (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn has revealed “interesting developments” are in progress over a potential expansion of professional darts in America.
The World Series road-show visited Las Vegas last month for the third staging of the US Masters – which was won by debutant Nathan Aspinall.
Currently, the US Masters is the only televised PDC tournament held in America during the year, but Hearn has exclusively revealed an announcement is due in the coming weeks over a potential stateside shake-up.
“I think we’re going to make an announcement quite soon,” Hearn told Live Darts.
“There’s going to be some interesting developments in America because we’ve got a big TV contract there.
“It’s a big country to conquer, it’s not going to be easy.”
The PDC returned to Las Vegas in 2017 after an eight-year absence following the end of the Las Vegas Desert Classic, but it is now believed a new city could welcome the sport’s box office stars in 2020, with New York rumoured to be the location.
Matchroom Sport, which operates the PDC, opened an office in New York last year after Eddie Hearn announced a lucrative boxing streaming deal with DAZN.
Now, Matchroom are aiming to grab a further slice of the vast American market in darts on the back of healthy viewing figures and record entries for the recent North American Championship.
Hearn, 71, also outlined his vision for other key growth areas, with Scandanavia and China also high on the World Series agenda.
He added: “I’m also looking at Scandanavia, I think there’s a market out there.
“Again we’re looking at bringing something back in China because potentially it’s a big market.
“The World Series is a media platform for us where we take the best players in the world against local players, put it on TV and try and spread the game.
“It’s working but it’s an evolution. Over a period of time, those invitational events have at one time got to become open events, that’s the transition.
“It worked well in snooker, we did exactly the same thing in the 80s. In China for example, we took eight players who played eight Chinese players and today China is 40 per cent of our market.
“I don’t see why that can’t be the case for darts as well.”
The World Series currently incorporates five non-ranked events, staged in Las Vegas, Cologne, Brisbane, Melbourne, and New Zealand, culminating in the World Series Finals in Amsterdam in November.