ESPN, BBC COLLABORATE FOR COMPLETE COVERAGE OF BDO WORLD PROFESSIONAL DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS
ESPN has reached agreement with BBC Sport and the BDO for the two broadcasters to share coverage of the 2013 Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships.
The BBC will screen exclusively live coverage of the afternoon sessions of the tournament over the opening weekend of January 5th and 6th 2013. There will be extended BBC afternoon highlights from Monday, January 7th to Friday, January 11th, plus late-night highlights on BBC Two and extra action on BBC Sport online. Additionally, the first semi-final will be broadcast live on the BBC on Saturday, January 12th, plus exclusive live coverage of the final on Sunday, January 13th.
ESPN will broadcast both evening sessions of the opening weekend of January 5th and 6th, plus every weekday evening session from January 7th to 11th exclusively live. Its coverage will also include the second semi-final exclusively live on Saturday, January 12th and highlights of the final, on Sunday, January 13th. Additionally, ESPN will bring fans live coverage of the women’s final on Saturday, January 12th, plus selected coverage of earlier rounds.
BBC coverage is presented by Colin Murray, who will once again be joined by two-time World Championship runner-up Bobby George.
ESPN’s live televised darts coverage will be led by Ray Stubbs, presenter of both the BDO World Professional Darts Championships and the Winmau World Masters for several years during his career with the BBC. All ESPN discussion and analysis will come live from the Lakeside, capturing the environment and connecting viewers to the unique atmosphere of live darts.
Commentary for both broadcasters will come from Jim Proudfoot, Tony Green and Vassos Alexander.
Simon Potter, senior director, programming, ESPN, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Our first year broadcasting the competition this past January was a great success. We’re looking forward to being part of the wonderful atmosphere and excitement at the Lakeside as we continue to broaden our offering of live darts alongside other sports.”
BDO chairman Barry Gilbey said: “We are absolutely delighted at the extent and diversity of the combined coverage from ESPN and BBC for the 2013 World Pro. Not only does it provide a fitting celebration of the BDO’s 40th Anniversary Year (1973-2013) but we have an exciting line-up of players, including one of the strongest fields ever assembled for the Women’s World Championship – which is why everyone will be delighted that ESPN is screening the 2013 Women’s Final live on January 12th.”
Philip Bernie, Head TV Sport, BBC said: “We are delighted to be showing the World Professional Darts Championship once again on BBC TV , and look forward greatly to its unique mix of top Darts action, great entertainment and a wonderful atmosphere.”