THE 2017 BetVictor World Matchplay has been hailed as the most successful in the tournament's history following a thrilling nine days in Blackpool.
The second-longest running PDC televised tournament was won for a 16th time in 25 stagings by Phil Taylor as the 56-year-old Stoke legend signed off with victory in his final Winter Gardens appearance last month.
Taylor's fairy-tale ending in Blackpool captured the imagination of the sporting public both in Blackpool and through Sky Sports' broadcasts of the tournament.
Record ticket sales throughout the World Matchplay meant that more fans than ever watched the 2017 World Matchplay across the ten sessions, with over 2,000 fans more than ever before seeing the event live at the Winter Gardens.
Eight of the ten sessions recorded an increase in viewing figures from the 2016 tournament, with three sessions peaking at around 500,000 viewers on Sky Sports.
In addition, a record number of international broadcasters screened the tournament live worldwide into over 100 countries, with almost 1 million fans watching the final live in Germany as Taylor celebrated his 16th World Matchplay win.
"The BetVictor World Matchplay was a brilliant week from start to finish but it's only when we look back that we see what a massive success it really was," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
"We're very proud to look back on the tournament with such great figures, both in terms of our live audience as well as TV ratings on Sky Sports and worldwide.
"For Phil Taylor to battle past three World Champions in Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis just to reach the final was magical, but for him to then defeat Peter Wright and win his 16th World Matchplay title in his final appearance was something special.
"The standard of play throughout the event, though, was exceptional and it's raised the bar once again for players as we enter the exciting second half of the year, where TV events come thick and fast."