Gabriel Clemens’ semi-final clash against Michael Smith at the Cazoo World Darts Championship achieved record-breaking viewing figures for Sport1 in Germany on Monday night.
Clemens enjoyed a magnificent run to the semi-finals at Alexandra Palace, becoming the first German player to advance beyond the last 16 of the sport’s flagship event with his sensational displays.
The 39-year-old defeated William O’Connor, Jim Williams and Alan Soutar to reach the last eight, before producing the performance of his life to demolish top seed Gerwyn Price 5-1 and set up a semi-final showdown against Smith.
The opening four sets of Monday’s last four tie were shared, before Smith powered to victory in sublime style, landing 19 180s and converting five ton-plus finishes to complete a 6-2 success.
Clemens’ exploits in the capital have pulled in record viewing figures on German TV station Sport1 throughout the tournament, in addition to the coverage through DAZN in his home country.
He has also been featured across the country’s biggest news programmes, received support from a wave of German celebrities and was cheered on by over 750 German fans at Alexandra Palace – more than 25% of the crowd - for his semi-final.
That match against Smith was watched by a record-breaking peak of 3.78 million people on Sport1, an all-time record for darts on the free-to-air channel.
This also marks the third-best day for Sport1 in the channel’s 30-year history, underlining the soaring popularity of the sport within Germany.
Smith, who recovered from 3-1 adrift to dump out Germany’s number two Martin Schindler in round three, believes this could be a defining moment in the history of German darts.
“Gabriel is unreal,” reflected Smith, who will take on three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen in Tuesday’s final.
“We’ve had Max Hopp who has won a European Tour and a ProTour, Martin Schindler has been playing really well.
“We need a massive German and there’s no bigger than the German Giant!
“He has been doing it for a long time and hopefully this is the kick-start that he needs now.
“Hopefully he turns up and starts winning more titles, has better runs in TV events and Germany finally get the superstar that they’re craving.”
Germany will host the World Cup of Darts and European Championship during 2023, as well as a Premier League night in Berlin and a range of European Tour events.
For tickets, please visit the PDC Europe website.