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Hearn offers live sport with streaming of new PDC Home Tour

Peter Wright of Scotland throws during his match against Nathan Aspinall of England during Night Five of the Premier League Darts (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has revealed details of its new PDC Home Tour series, which will invite players to compete against one another from their respective homes in the absence of regular-season events.

The PDC Home Tour will launch this Friday and comprise 32 consecutive nights of live darts in total, with all PDC tour card-holders having been invited to compete. Players will compete against one another through live video calls in what will mark the PDC’s first-ever home-staged event.

The competition will be streamed on the StreamAMG-powered PDCTV streaming platform to all registered users for free, irrespective of whether users hold a paid or free membership. A series of bookmakers will also stream the action on their websites.

Four players will compete against one another each night as part of a league format. The matches will be played over the best of nine legs, with a winner to be crowned each night. The 32 group winners will advance to the second phase of the competition.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: “We’ve spent the last few weeks planning and looking at what is possible, and I’m delighted to be able to present a concept which gives all tour card-holders the opportunity to take part.

“The PDC Home Tour will provide a regular supply of live sport to fans, showcasing the talent and unique characters of our players to both existing and new audiences. The event will also give players a chance to play competitive darts in this down period in preparation for the return to normal action, whenever that may be.”

Last month, Hearn, who also serves as chairman of Matchroom Sport, said that he was continuing to look at ways to stage live events behind closed doors following the Covid-19 outbreak.

He told the Unofficial Partner podcast: “I’m looking at ways of creating behind-closed-doors events subject to government rules and if I’m allowed to do that. If I am allowed to do it then I can then tick another box which is something on TV screens around the world which is live and entertaining although obviously lacking the atmosphere that most of my events have.”

Darts and snooker would appear to be logical options for such events, which Hearn said that he would look to hold “subject to government rules”. No update on these behind-closed-doors events was given by Hearn, who recently returned home from hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The PDC Home Tour concept has launched following the success of ‘Darts At Home’, which saw nine PDC players compete on the organisation’s Facebook page and YouTube channel across two nights recently.

The PDC will announce the 16 players that will compete across the first four nights of PDC Home Tour later today (Wednesday).