BETFRED will become the new title sponsor of the Betfred World Matchplay after securing a three-year contract with the prestigious tournament, which will also see prize money increase to a record £700,000.

The World Matchplay is the PDC's second longest-running tournament, having first been staged in 1994 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, and sees 32 players competing across nine days.

Next year's tournament, to be held from July 20-28 2019 and broadcast live on Sky Sports and worldwide, will be the first under a new three-year sponsorship with leading bookmaker Betfred.

Prize money for the tournament will be boosted to £700,000 - an increase of £200,000 from 2018 - and will see a £150,000 prize awarded to the player who claims The Phil Taylor Trophy next year.

"I couldn't be happier to see Betfred involved in one of the biggest in events in the darts calendar," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

The World Matchplay is a tournament loved by players and fans, and it's brilliant for Betfred to support such a high-profile tournament.

"We had committed to increasing prize money across the PDC circuit, and this announcement of an increase for the Betfred World Matchplay will be followed by more good news for players in the coming weeks!"

Betfred boss Fred Done said: "We have always enjoyed a great working relationship with Barry Hearn so I am delighted to have agreed a deal to link up with Barry and the PDC to sponsor one of the biggest tournaments in world darts."

Won in 2018 for the first time by Gary Anderson, the World Matchplay was won a record 16 times by the legendary Phil Taylor, after whom the trophy is now named.

Michael van Gerwen and Rod Harrington are two-time World Matchplay champions, while James Wade, Colin Lloyd and Peter Evison have also lifted the title since Larry Butler's 1994 triumph.

Tickets for the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay are likely to go on sale in January or February 2019. Details will be confirmed at once finalised.

2019 Betfred World Matchplay
Prize Fund

Winner £150,000
Runner-Up £70,000
Semi-Finalists £50,000
Quarter-Finalists £25,000
Last 16 £15,000
Last 32 £10,000
Total £700,000