World Championship achieves huge global viewing figures

William Hill World Darts Championship (Chris Dean, PDC)

The 2020/21 William Hill World Darts Championship enjoyed record-breaking viewing figures around the globe.

This year's World Darts Championship saw Gerwyn Price claim the Sid Waddell Trophy during a unique event which saw crowds only admitted for the opening night before the remainder was staged behind closed doors.

That, though, failed to stop the drama with a host of sensational matches, sudden-death legs and outstanding performances during the tournament.

UK coverage on Sky Sports was broadcast through the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel across the 16 days, with their bumper viewing figures including a 1.25 million peak and an average of one million viewers for the final.

The sport's continued growth in popularity across Germany saw incredible record figures seen by Sport1 for sessions involving Max Hopp, Nico Kurz and Gabriel Clemens.

Sport1 recorded strong viewing figures for Hopp and Kurz' first round wins, before Hopp's second round tie with King saw those numbers surpassed in the all-German tie between Kurz and Clemens for a record peak of almost 1 million fans.

Clemens' third round win over Peter Wright then saw that peak jump to 1.2 million, before the German's dramatic fourth round tie with Krzysztof Ratajski drew a new record peak of 2.2 million viewers and an average of 1.2 million!

DAZN streamed over 7 million hours in Germany alone - around 40% up on last year's event - as part of their global coverage which also included USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Spain Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

Dutch broadcaster RTL7 enjoyed strong figures, which peaked as Michael van Gerwen was defeated by a brilliant Dave Chisnall display on New Year's Day, while half a million people in Belgium watched Dimitri Van den Bergh's fourth tie with Chisnall on VTM.

Global coverage also included live broadcasts on Fox Sports in Australia and through Sky Sport in New Zealand, while coverage across the Nordic & Baltic region included live broadcasts for the first time across Iceland through Syn FH.

"It was a wonderful event and a great statement of how a sport like darts can help the mental health of the country and of the world by giving them sporting entertainment at a time when we all needed a little lift," said PDC chairman Barry Hearn.

"It was just so viewable, and it came at a time when the country and the world probably needed a bit of darts!

"We needed some return to normality over Christmas, and the darts gave us that because it was always there for us, 120 hours of live broadcasts going to 130 countries around the world.

"We had great drama, great storylines, great emerging talents, great failure, great celebrations, the tears of defeat.

"Of course we missed the crowds and we look forward to welcoming them back as soon as possible, but did it affect the standard of what we actually put across on television? Not at all, and that's a compliment to the players."