PDC World Darts Championship
|PDC World Darts Championship|
|Venue||Circus Tavern (1994–2007)|
Alexandra Palace (since 2008)
London (since 2008)
|Prize fund||£2,500,000 (2020)|
The PDC World Darts Championship, known for sponsorship purposes as the William Hill World Darts Championship, organised by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), is a World Professional Darts Championships held annually in the sport of darts. The PDC championship begins in December and ends in January and is held at Alexandra Palace in London and has been held there since 2008. It is the most prestigious of the PDC's tournaments, with the winner receiving the Sid Waddell Trophy, named in honour of the darts commentator Sid Waddell, who died in 2012.
The PDC championship began in 1994 as the WDC World Darts Championship as one of the consequences of the split in darts, which saw the World Darts Council break away from the BDO. As a result of the settlement between the BDO and the WDC in 1997, the WDC became the PDC, and players were thenceforth free to choose which world championship to enter (but not both in the same year), as long as they met certain eligibility criteria. Both organisations continued to organize their own world championship until the 2020 editions, after which the BDO folded.
There have been ten different winners since the tournament's inception. With 14 wins from 25 appearances, Phil Taylor has dominated the competition, last winning it in 2013. The other players to win it more than once are John Part (2003 & 2008), Adrian Lewis (2011 & 2012), Gary Anderson (2015 & 2016) and Michael van Gerwen (2014, 2017 & 2019). The one-time winners are the inaugural champion Dennis Priestley (1994), Raymond van Barneveld (2007), Rob Cross (2018), Peter Wright (2020) and Gerwyn Price (2021).
In 1992, some high-profile players, including all previous winners of the BDO World Darts Championship still active in the game, formed the WDC (now PDC), and in 1994, held their first World Championship. Dennis Priestley won the inaugural competition.
The players who broke away were taking a significant gamble – the tournament was broadcast on satellite television rather than terrestrial, and from 1994 to 2001, the prize fund for the players in the WDC/PDC World Championship was lower than the prize fund in the BDO version, although the 1997 PDC World Champion received £45,000 compared to that year's BDO World Champion receiving £38,000. In 2002, the PDC prize fund overtook that of the BDO for the first time, and the PDC event now boasts the largest prize fund of any darts competition. In 2010, the prize fund reached £1 million for the first time, with the World Champion collecting £200,000.
The 2014 and 2015 PDC World Champions collected £250,000 for their respective wins. For the next, winner's share increased to £50,000 each year culminating in a 2018 prize fund of £1.8 million. The current prize fund for the tournament is £2.5 million with £500,000 to the winner, as set since the 2019 edition.
In 2020, the British Darts Organisation - which had held a separate version of the world championship since the split in 1994 - went into liquidation. As a result, the PDC version is currently the only recognised world championship in darts. The World Darts Federation has indicated that their intention to create their own world championship in 2021 once the COVID-19 pandemic situation has subsided.
List of finals
|Year||Champion (average in final)||Score||Runner-up (average in final)||Prize money||Sponsor||Venue|
|1994||Dennis Priestley (94.38)||6–1||Phil Taylor (85.62)||£64,000||£16,000||£8,000||Skol||Circus Tavern,|
|1995||Phil Taylor (94.11)||6–2||Rod Harrington (87.15)||£55,000||£12,000||£6,000||Proton Cars|
|1996||Phil Taylor (98.52)||6–4||Dennis Priestley (101.48)||£62,500||£14,000||£7,000||Vernon's Pools|
|1997||Phil Taylor (100.92)||6–3||Dennis Priestley (96.78)||£99,500||£45,000||£10,000||Red Band|
|1998||Phil Taylor (103.98)||6–0||Dennis Priestley (90.75)||£72,500||£20,000||Skol|
|1999||Phil Taylor (97.11)||6–2||Peter Manley (93.63)||£104,000||£30,000||£16,000|
|2000||Phil Taylor (94.42)||7–3||Dennis Priestley (91.80)||£111,000||£31,000||£16,400|
|2001||Phil Taylor (107.46)||7–0||John Part (92.58)||£125,000||£33,000||£18,000|
|2002||Phil Taylor (98.47)||7–0||Peter Manley (91.35)||£205,000||£50,000||£25,000|
|2003||John Part (96.87)||7–6||Phil Taylor (99.98)||£237,000||Ladbrokes|
|2004||Phil Taylor (96.03)||7–6||Kevin Painter (90.48)||£257,000|
|2005||Phil Taylor (96.14)||7–4||Mark Dudbridge (90.66)||£300,000||£60,000||£30,000|
|2006||Phil Taylor (106.74)||7–0||Peter Manley (91.72)||£500,000||£100,000||£50,000|
|2007||Raymond van Barneveld (100.93)||7–6||Phil Taylor (100.86)|
|2008||John Part (92.86)||7–2||Kirk Shepherd (85.10)||£589,000||Alexandra Palace,|
|2009||Phil Taylor (110.94)||7–1||Raymond van Barneveld (101.18)||£724,000||£125,000||£60,000|
|2010||Phil Taylor (104.38)||7–3||Simon Whitlock (100.51)||£1,000,000||£200,000||£100,000|
|2011||Adrian Lewis (99.40)||7–5||Gary Anderson (99.41)|
|2012||Adrian Lewis (93.06)||7–3||Andy Hamilton (90.83)|
|2013||Phil Taylor (103.04)||7–4||Michael van Gerwen (100.66)|
|2014||Michael van Gerwen (100.10)||7–4||Peter Wright (95.71)||£1,050,000||£250,000|
|2015||Gary Anderson (97.68)||7–6||Phil Taylor (100.69)||£1,250,000||£120,000||William Hill|
|2016||Gary Anderson (99.26)||7–5||Adrian Lewis (100.23)||£1,500,000||£300,000||£150,000|
|2017||Michael van Gerwen (107.79)||7–3||Gary Anderson (104.93)||£1,650,000||£350,000||£160,000|
|2018||Rob Cross (107.67)||7–2||Phil Taylor (102.26)||£1,800,000||£400,000||£170,000|
|2019||Michael van Gerwen (102.21)||7–3||Michael Smith (95.29)||£2,500,000||£500,000||£200,000|
|2020||Peter Wright (102.79)||7–3||Michael van Gerwen (102.88)|
|2021||Gerwyn Price (100.08)||7–3||Gary Anderson (94.25)|
Records and statistics
- As of 2 January 2021
Total finalist appearances
|2||Michael van Gerwen||3||2||5||14|
|7||Raymond van Barneveld||1||1||2||14|
- Active players are shown in bold
- Only players who reached the final are included
- In the event of identical records, players are sorted in alphabetical order by family name
Champions by country
|Country||Players||Total||First title||Last title|
Ten nine-darters have been thrown at the World Championship. The first one was in 2009.
|Player||Year (+ Round)||Method||Opponent||Result|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2009, Quarter-Final||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Jelle Klaasen||Won|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2010, 2nd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Brendan Dolan||Won|
|Adrian Lewis||2011, Final||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Gary Anderson||Won|
|Dean Winstanley||2013, 2nd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Vincent van der Voort||Lost|
|Michael van Gerwen||2013, Semi-Final||3 x T20; 2 x T20, T19; 2 x T20, D12||James Wade||Won|
|Terry Jenkins||2014, 1st Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Per Laursen||Lost|
|Kyle Anderson||2014, 1st Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Ian White||Lost|
|Adrian Lewis||2015, 3rd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Raymond van Barneveld||Lost|
|Gary Anderson||2016, Semi-Final||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Jelle Klaasen||Won|
|James Wade||2021, 3rd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Stephen Bunting||Lost|
Since the breakaway of the PDC players, there has been much debate about the relative merits of the players within each organisation. The debate often focuses on the three-dart averages of players in matches.
An average over 100 in a match in the PDC World Championship has since been achieved 195 times. This is compared to 21 times in the BDO World Championship, following the 2019 event. In 2010 Phil Taylor became the first player to average over 100 in all six rounds of the tournament. He repeated this feat (though lost the final) in 2015 and Michael van Gerwen achieved it in 2017 and 2019.
An average of over 105 in a match in the PDC World Championship has been achieved 40 times. The highest match average ever in the BDO World Championship is 103.83 by Raymond van Barneveld in his quarter-final victory over John Walton in 2004.
|Ten highest PDC World Championship one-match averages|
|114.05||Michael van Gerwen||2017, Semi-Final||Raymond van Barneveld||6–2|
|111.21||Phil Taylor||2002, 2nd Round||Shayne Burgess||6–1|
|110.94||Phil Taylor||2009, Final||Raymond van Barneveld||7–1|
|109.34||Raymond van Barneveld||2017, Semi-Final||Michael van Gerwen||2–6|
|109.23||Michael van Gerwen||2016, 2nd Round||Darren Webster||4–0|
|109.00||Phil Taylor||2007, 2nd Round||Mick McGowan||4–1|
|108.98||Michael van Gerwen||2021, 2nd Round||Ryan Murray||3–1|
|108.80||Phil Taylor||2009, Quarter-Final||Co Stompé||5–0|
|108.65||Michael van Gerwen||2018, 2nd Round||James Wilson||4–0|
|108.39||Gary Anderson||2011, 3rd Round||Andy Smith||4–0|
|Five highest losing averages|
|109.34||Raymond van Barneveld||2017, Semi-Final||Michael van Gerwen||2–6|
|106.09||Jeffrey de Zwaan||2019, 2nd Round||Rob Cross||1–3|
|106.07||Cristo Reyes||2017, 2nd Round||Michael van Gerwen||2–4|
|105.78||Michael van Gerwen||2016, 3rd Round||Raymond van Barneveld||3–4|
|104.93||Gary Anderson||2017, Final||Michael van Gerwen||3–7|
|Five highest combined match averages|
|223.39||Michael van Gerwen (114.05)||2017, Semi-Final||Raymond van Barneveld (109.34)||6–2|
|212.72||Michael van Gerwen (107.79)||2017, Final||Gary Anderson (104.93)||7–3|
|212.12||Phil Taylor (110.94)||2009, Final||Raymond van Barneveld (101.18)||7–1|
|211.31||Michael van Gerwen (105.24)||2017, 2nd Round||Cristo Reyes (106.07)||4–2|
|210.82||Phil Taylor (109.00)||2007, 2nd Round||Mick McGowan (101.82)||4–1|
|Ten highest tournament averages (min 3 matches)|
|Average||Player||Year||Round (+ result)||Reference|
|106.32||Michael van Gerwen||2017||Final (won)|||
|104.68||Michael van Gerwen||2016||3rd Round|||
|104.63||Phil Taylor||2010||Final (won)|||
|104.08||Phil Taylor||2009||Final (won)|||
|104.05||Michael van Gerwen||2018||Semifinal|||
|103.64||Michael van Gerwen||2021||Quarter-Final|
|103.45||Gary Anderson||2017||Final (loss)|||
|103.38||Michael van Gerwen||2019||Final (won)|||
|103.06||Gary Anderson||2011||Final (loss)|||
- Most titles: 14, Phil Taylor. Taylor's two BDO titles take his total to 16, a record across both organisations.
- Most finals: 19, Phil Taylor, 1994–2007, 2009–2010, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Taylor's two BDO finals take his total to 21, a record across both organisations.
- Most match wins: 110, Phil Taylor, 1994–2018. Taylor has only lost 11 matches at the tournament and reached every final from 1994 until 2007, before being beaten in the quarter-finals by Wayne Mardle in 2008.
- Longest unbeaten run: 44 matches, Phil Taylor, 1995–2003, between his defeats in the 1994 and 2003 finals.
- Most 180s in a tournament (total): 828 in 2019. This was the first tournament to feature a 96 player field.
- Most 180s in a tournament (individual): 71, Gary Anderson (2017)
- Most 180s in a match: 22, Gary Anderson (2017 final)
- Most 180s in a match (both players): 42, Gary Anderson (22) and Michael van Gerwen (20) (2017 final)
- Longest streak of 100+ averages: 19 matches, Michael van Gerwen, 2016–2019
- Most appearances: 25, Phil Taylor.
- Youngest player: Mitchell Clegg, 16 years and 37 days in 2007. Clegg had qualified as a 15-year-old. He was younger than Michael van Gerwen, who set the BDO World Championship youngest player record a few weeks later.
- Youngest finalist: Kirk Shepherd, 21 years and 88 days In the 2008 final, Shepherd was two days younger than Jelle Klaasen, who won the BDO title in 2006.
- Record TV audience UK: 1,500,000 (2015 Final). The 2007 final was the first time that Sky Television achieved a viewing figure of over 1 million for a darts match. The 2013 final had a 1.2 million average, with 10 million viewers over the course of the tournament.
- Record TV audience: 2,170,000 (2017 Final). The record was set during the Dutch broadcast (RTL7) of the 2017 final between Dutchman Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson.  The 2018 final holds the record for highest combined audience in the UK, Netherlands and Germany with over 4.4 million viewers.
- Won both World Championships: Four players. Dennis Priestley was the first player to win both versions of the World Championship, winning the 1991 BDO Championship and the 1994 PDC Championship. Phil Taylor, John Part and Raymond van Barneveld have since matched the feat.
- Overseas World Champions: Three players. John Part was the first player from outside the UK to win the PDC World Championship with his 2003 title, followed by Raymond van Barneveld in 2007 and Michael van Gerwen in 2014. Part was also the first overseas player to win the BDO title, doing so in 1994.
The PDC World Championship has been broadcast live and in its entirety by Sky Sports in the UK since its inception. Since 2009 the tournament has been presented in High Definition (HD). Their coverage is currently presented from a studio overlooking the interior of the Alexandra Palace venue.
The current presenting team is as follows:
- Laura Woods: (2018–)
- Emma Paton: (2020–)
- David Croft: (2013–present, previously worked for BBC Sport Darts Coverage 2003–2012)
- Rod Harrington: (2005–present)
- Wayne Mardle: (2010–present)
- John Part: (2013–present, previously worked for BBC Sport Darts Coverage 1995–2007)
- Mark Webster: (2018–present)
- Laura Woods: (2016–present)
- Laura Turner: (2018–present)
- Devon Petersen: (2019–present)
- Colin Lloyd: (2020–present)
- Stuart Pyke: (2003–present, also works for ITV Sport Darts Coverage 2007–present)
- Rod Studd: (2009–present)
- Nigel Pearson: (2005–present)
- Adam Smith: (2020-present)
- (David Croft, Wayne Mardle, Rod Harrington, Mark Webster, Devon Petersen, Laura Turner, John Part and Colin Lloyd also commentate)
Former presenters and commentators have been:
- Dave Lanning: (1993–2010 & 2013, Previously worked for ITV Sport Darts Coverage 1972–1988)
- John Gwynne: (1993–2013, 2016, Now with Eurosport BDO Darts Coverage 2014–present)
- Sid Waddell: (1994–2012, Previously worked for BBC Sport Darts Coverage 1978–1994)
- Jeff Stelling: (1993–2002, 2005)
- David Bobin: (1994, 2002–2003)
- Helen Chamberlain: (2003–2009)
- Jonathan Green: (2000)
- Laura "Laure" James (2014–2016)
- Eric Bristow: (1993–2016)
- Dave Clark: (2001–2020)
Dutch broadcaster SBS6, having covered the BDO World Darts Championship for many years, also covered the event until RTL7 took over broadcasting. TV3 Sport (Denmark), Fox Sports (Australia), TSN (Canada), SuperSport (South Africa), Sky Sport (New Zealand), StarHub (Singapore), Ten Sports (India), CCTV (China), Showtime (Middle East), Ukraine TV, TVP Sport (Poland), NOVA Sport (Czech Republic and Slovakia), Sport1 (Hungary), Meersat (Malaysia), 7TV (Russia), Measat (Indonesia), J Sports (Japan), DAZN (USA, Italy), GOL TV (Spain) Eurosport (Romania) and VTM4 (Belgium) now also broadcast the event.
Television viewing figures for the final are as follows: 
|Sky UK||Netherlands||Germany SPORT1|
|2020||1,006,553||1,200,000 (RTL 7)||1,590,000 |
|2019||658,300||1,540,000 (RTL 7)||1,490,000 |
|2018||1,400,000||864,000 (RTL 7)||2,150,000 |
|2017||607,000||2,170,000 (RTL 7)||1,480,000|
|2016||908,000||869,000 (RTL 7)||950,000|
|2015||1.5 million peak||908,000 (RTL 7)||1,360,000|
|2014||668,000||2,054,000 (RTL 7)||560,000|
|2013||1,270,000||1,748,000 (RTL 7)||810,000|
|2012||728,000||762,000 (RTL 7)|
|2008||731,000||211,000 (compilation SBS6)||340,000|
The PDC world championship events are now broadcast on www.livepdc.tv which shows the events live, highlights and also classic matches. This website is a subscription only viewing and is limited to certain territorial restrictions.
The PDC have worked with various video game developers since 2006 to create a number of darts-themed titles based on the World Darts Championship tournament.
Their first game PDC World Championship Darts was developed by Mere Mortals for the PlayStation 2 and PC. The second game in the series was PDC World Championship Darts 2008 developed by Mere Mortals for the PlayStation 2, PC, PlayStation Portable, Wii and Xbox 360. A year later Rebellion Developments took over development of the series, releasing PDC World Championship Darts 2009 for the Wii and Nintendo DS.
The most recent PDC World Darts Championship console game to be released was PDC World Championship Darts Pro Tour a darts video game for the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. This game is the most comprehensive of the series featuring ten professional players and five official PDC tournaments including the PDC World Grand Prix, Las Vegas Desert Classic, PDC UK Open and the Holland Open.
In 2021 the PDC collaborated with Blueprint Gaming to develop PDC World Darts Championship, an officially licensed slots game available to play on mobile devices and PC, the game was released in February 2021.
The tournament has been sponsored by bookmaker William Hill since 2015. Previous sponsors have been:
- Skol (1994)
- Proton Cars (1995)
- Vernon's Pools (1996)
- Red Band (1997)
- Skol (1998–2002)
- Ladbrokes (2003–2014)
- William Hill (2015–)
Notes and references
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 December 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "PDC championship moves to London". BBC Sport. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- Each player's average score is based on the average for each 3-dart visit to the board (ie total points scored divided by darts thrown and multiplied by 3)
- PDC World Championship prize fund dartsdatabase
- dartsdatabase.co.uk; best winning averages
- "2017 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Darts Database. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "2016 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Darts Database. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "2010 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "2009 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Darts Database. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "2018 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Darts Database. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "2019 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Darts Database. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- "2011 PDC World Championship tournament averages". Darts Database. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "PDC WC Match wins page 1". Darts Database. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- "PDC WC match wins page 2". Darts Database. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- "PDC WC match wins page 3". Darts Database. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- dartsdatabse.co.uk; Most 180's in a tournament
- pdc.tv Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine; Record Viewing Figures
- . Retrieved on 2017-01-03.
- BARB viewing figures Archived 2007-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
- "Weekly top programmes on four screens (28 days) – Sky Sport Main Event=511,000 – Sky Sports Darts=495,553". BARB.
- "Netherlands viewing figures 1 January 2020". kijkonderzoek.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- SPORT1 (2 January 2020). "Peter Wrights erster Weltmeistertitel beschert SPORT1 zweitbeste Darts-Übertragung seiner Geschichte: 1,59 Millionen Zuschauer im Schnitt und 2,22 Millionen Zuschauer in der Spitze verfolgen Finale der diesjährigen Darts-WM". sport1.de (in German).
- BuzzE/NU.nl (2 January 2019). "1,54 miljoen Nederlandse kijkers voor WK-finale darts". nu.nl (in Dutch).
- SPORT1 (2 January 2019). "Darts-WM 2019: Rekord-Quote für SPORT1 bei Finale mit van Gerwen". sport1.de (in German).
- SPORT1 (2 January 2018). "Darts-WM 2018: Finale mit Phil Taylor beschert SPORT1 Rekordquote". sport1.de (in German).
- . Retrieved on 2017-01-03.
- Niemaier, Timo (3 January 2017). "Darts-WM: Neuer Quotenrekord für Sport1 zum Finale – DWDL.de". DWDL.de (in German). Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- . Retrieved on 2017-12-16.
- Sülter, Björn (4 January 2016). "SportCheck: Darts-Rekorde, Insel-Showdown & Schanzenfieber". Quotenmeter (in German). Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- Kijkonderzoek. Retrieved on 2015-01-05.
- DWDL: Darts-WM: Sport1 katapultiert sich vor Vox
- BARB. BARB. Retrieved on 2013-08-13.
- "Blueprint and PDC team up to release World Darts Championship Slot". nowagering.com. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
- "World Darts Trophy Named After Waddell". Sky News. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2013.