Darts competition to be broadcast live from players' houses

While most of the sporting world has ground to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has found a way to bring live sport back to the fans. 

Beginning Saturday, the PDC Home Tour will broadcast live from players' homes - the first tournament of its kind in sport's fight against the coronavirus crisis.

While the tournament won't quite be the same as what sports fans are used to seeing on television, it sure beats reruns of old sporting matches. 

The PDC Home Tour will employ a nightly league format of four competitors playing each other once over the best of nine legs, with a winner crowned each night. Matches will start at 6:30am (NZ time).

The format is expected to last 32 nights, allowing all 128 Tour cardholders to compete.

The 32 group winners will then advance to the second phase of the competition, with all matches broadcast on the PDC's online TV channel for free.

Each match will be broadcast via video calls - filmed on a mobile phone on a tripod.

"This will provide a regular supply of live sport to fans," says PDC chairman Barry Hearn.

"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."

Opening night will be headlined by current world champion Peter 'Snakebite' Wright, who is looking forward to the challenge. 

"It's going to be a bit weird, but I'm looking forward to it," Wright told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's going to be done on Skype on a mobile phone and away we go. I've used Skype once in my whole life, so it's a new experience for me." 

Top-level darts is scheduled to resume at the end of July, if no further changes to the schedule are enforced. 

But the New Zealand Darts Masters, where Wright was expected to compete, has been postponed and rescheduled for 2021.