PDC stars heading to ESPN
ESPN will broadcast live and exclusive coverage of the PartyPoker.net European Darts Championship as the top players in Europe compete in Mulheim, Germany this September.
Viewers will be able to watch live action from each day of the tournament, presented by Ray Stubbs on site in Germany, as ESPN and the Professional Darts Corporation team up for the first time to broadcast a major darts event.
The £200,000 championship will see 32 players battling across four days of knockout action, and will feature darts' most decorated player, 15-time world champion Phil Taylor, who has won all four European Championship titles since the event's inception in 2008.
Other players lined up to compete include double PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis - the runner-up to Taylor in last year's European Championship - and world No. 3 James Wade - the youngest ever winner of the World Matchplay - as well as Netherlands' five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, Australian favourite Simon Whitlock and many top talents from across Europe.
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice-President, TV Channels, ESPN EMEA, said: "We're delighted to add more top class darts to ESPN's great sporting line-up. Our live and exclusive coverage of the European Darts Championship will bring viewers some of the best players in the world competing for one of the most prestigious trophies in darts. We'll continue to look to add more darts programming as we expand and solidify the range of our programming."
PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: "The PartyPoker.net European Darts Championship has established itself as one of our most exciting and colourful events over the past four years, and it is a pleasure to welcome ESPN as our broadcast partner for the 2012 event.
"Last year, we saw the emergence of Kim Huybrechts as he took part in a major PDC event for the first time as well as a thrilling nine-darter by Adrian Lewis and his great final with Phil Taylor, and I'm sure that September's tournament will be equally memorable for the fans in Germany and viewers on ESPN."
The championship will begin on Thursday September 20, with the first round split across Thursday and Friday nights, and the second round being played in two sessions on Saturday September 22.
The quarter-finals will take place in the afternoon session of Sunday September 23, with the semi-finals and final being played in one dramatic deciding session that evening, when the destiny of the £50,000 first prize will be discovered.
The championship will join an extensive portfolio of top class sport on ESPN. The tournament will sit alongside live televised coverage of the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, Aviva Premiership Rugby, Clydesdale Bank Premier League, UEFA Europa League, European league football, international football, plus the best in North American sports, motorsports, and much more.