Last Friday night in London, across the United Kingdom and around the globe, the Professional Darts Corporation streamed the Unibet PDC Home Tour on PDCTV for free to fans worldwide thanks to StreamAMG’s OTT services. I have thrown my share of darts with friends and strangers alike in sports bars, at home and even the office over a pint or two just like many of you and it is truly a competitive, fun and engaging sport. Advanced dart boards are a technological marvel as they keep score digitally, offer different kinds of games and use soft tip darts rather than the sharp steel one’s used during the World Darts Championship, Premier League, World Cup of Darts, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and the Grand Slam of Darts. Live sport is slowly making a comeback from the societal shutdown because of coronavirus making the PDC Home Tour competition between elite level dart star players must watch television for millions of fans worldwide. Running 32 consecutive evenings at 7:30 pm BST on prime-time television, these superstars will toss from the confines of their cozy homes using video call during a nightly league format. Streaming is happening on PDCTV as well as broadcasters such as Sky Sports and 14 other governing body partners. COVID-19 has changed the way live sport events are conducted perhaps forever but until we know whether a vaccine can be produced and antibodies can be identified, innovative broadcast streaming solutions delivered by the likes of StreamAMG are the new norm for the homebound fan, athletes, and sporting organizations such as the PDC and Matchroom Sport, alike. The Sports Techie community blog chatted across the pond today via Skype with Peter Fox, Marketing and Communications Manager, StreamAMG, to get an update as to how the weekend preliminary rounds went for all parties.
Mainstream Darts Streamed During COVID-19 Crisis
Fans need to register in order to stream live matches on the dedicated PDCTV OTT service powered by StreamAMG. You can watch the action for no charge with a free or paid membership. Those that become PDCTV members can use the official PDC app for free as well.
“StreamAMG have been instrumental in helping us launch our first home-staged event to bring live darts to fans in these unprecedented times,” said Professional Darts Corporation Chief Executive Matthew Porter.
The event is also broadcasting around the world through several broadcast partners:
Fox Australia- Australia
DAZN – Austria, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Spain
AMC Network – Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia
Viaplay – Scandinavia
Channel 2 Sport – Iceland
Supersport – South Africa, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Republic of), Code d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia (including Somaliland), South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Socotra, St. Helena and Ascension, Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Fox watched the Friday night opening as both a fan and StreamAMG executive. The operation used 15 different endpoints including broadcasters and book maker display screens of which Fox commented, “At the start of the broadcast, we received an unprecedented amount of external traffic on the PDCTV login area, preventing new registrations and restricting the process for current members. However, these were resolved from night two onwards and users are now be able to access PDCTV each evening to watch without difficulty.“
Because StreamAMG has been a long-term partner of the PDC including operations of PDCTV services beginning in 2016, they were prepared to manage the 15 distribution channel endpoints that included PDCTV, PDC social channels, various broadcast partners, and a number of websites for bookmakers. Sky Sports is broadcasting the PDC Home Tour, local fans across Great Britain and Ireland can stream via the Sky Sports App. The dedicated Sky Sports Dart Channel is another digital resource to check out.
StreamAMG’s technical team is based in Manchester and comfortable with working remotely so the challenges that come with the live delivery of sport followed by distributing the stream to partners for the PDC Home Tour was accomplished through their cloud-based distribution network, BT Tower, wi-fi, and a skilled group of employees.
Each broadcast features real-time, live score graphics layered onto the screen as well as expert commentary from respected darts commentator, Dan Dawson.
In terms of superstar dart professionals you need to know, the number one ranked PDC dart player in the world is Michael Van Gerwan, “Mighty Mike” is winner of 54 televise titles making him a household name. His all-important, walk-on music is the White Stripes song, Seven Nation Army. Ranked number two is the current PDC World Champion, Peter ‘Snakebit” Wright, who sports a Mohawk haircut, dances around to Pitbull and brings his strong personality to the traditional sport. Fallon Sherrock is a 25-year old woman that became the first female to defeat a man at the PDC World Championship.
Matt McKiernan, Chief Operating Officer, StreamAMG, said: “To be involved in bringing back live sport is massively exciting. We’re looking forward to delivering the Home Tour and helping the PDC bring live action to sports fans worldwide.”
Live dart events are well known for rowdy fans, loud chanting and tons of pressure to perform in a super charged atmosphere unlike what the calm, cool and collected setting of a pro players’ home. The BBC provided some insight as to why darts is going mainstream during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Matchroom Sport Group of Companies produces approximately 2,500 hours of original programming that calculates into 40,000 hours of TV transmission globally.
The majority shareholder of the Professional Darts Corporation is Matchroom Chairman, Barry Hearn.
Matchroom has grown the PDC incrementally where the global circuit of tournaments prize money is £14 million.
The Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. II boxing match was streamed by StreamAMG to the Indian Subcontinent on December 2019 on behalf of Matchroom Boxing. The two companies are also developing a multisport OTT platform that Matchroom Sport will launch in the next several months timed out to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Register to watch the PDC Tour for free – https://pdcpayments.streamamg.com/account/freeregistration
Sports Techie, dart fans that want to punt on the action can check out match odds then place a bet where legal via title sponsor Unibet.
Fox clued me in to where darts is compared to football or say netball for their company. StreamAMG continues working with the top soccer organizations and clubs such as the English FA, Premier League teams and AS Roma. Their first production outside of Europe was New Zealand netball. He says while darts is not at the level of football, they are making moves. The PDC is a long-standing partner and StreamAMG is major component of their global reach.
The Unibet PDC Home Tour has plenty of evenings left to watch from your home, office or safe vacation, StreamAMG is making sure of that.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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