Promotion agency Matchroom Sport has signed a multi-year contract with ITV, along with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and World Snooker Tour (WST).
The new agreement will see some of darts and snooker’s elite flagship events broadcast on the free-to-air terrestrial network.
Tournaments covered by the deal include the World Series of Darts, UK Open, European Championship, The Masters and Players Championship Finals.
“We’re delighted to extend our partnership with ITV Sport, they are now long term supporters of our events and have become valuable partners for our sports and will continue to be,” remarked Barry Hearn OBE, Chairman of Matchroom Multi Sport.
“ITV Sport have been valuable partners for the PDC for over a decade and our events remain hugely popular with their viewers. Last year’s Masters win for Peter Wright was followed by Michael van Gerwen winning the UK Open on a weekend that featured two televised nine-darters and showcased the excitement of top-level darts.
“We also saw Gerwyn Price win the World Series of Darts Finals and further wins for Wright and Van Gerwen in the European Championship and Players Championship Finals, and go into 2021 with competition at the sport’s highest level greater than ever.
“We’re looking forward to bringing more thrilling PDC action to ITV viewers in the coming years!”
Furthermore, the Champion of Champions snooker tournament, which is promoted by Matchroom Multi Sport, will join ITV’s already extensive portfolio of World Snooker Tour events such as the Players Championship, World Grand Prix, and Tour Championship.
ITV4’s snooker coverage has recorded impressive viewing figures in recent years, with an audience of over one million tuning in to watch Neil Robertson’s victory over Judd Trump, a matchup widely regarded as one of the greatest all-time snooker clashes.
Hearn added: “We are thrilled to extend our agreement with ITV for another two years. They have been fantastic supporters of snooker in recent times and they are a great team to work with. The quality of their coverage is superb and that is reflected in the outstanding viewing figures we consistently see for all four of the top-class events they broadcast each season.
“Our many millions of fans in the UK will be delighted by this news because they are guaranteed snooker of the highest quality featuring all of the top stars, with extensive live action on a free-to-air channel. Snooker and ITV are the perfect partners and we look forward to the next two years and beyond.”
Although the Matchroom brand is now widely associated with the sport of boxing due to Eddie Hearn’s activities in the sport and his stable of world champions including Anthony Joshua, Billy Joe Saunders and Katie Taylor, the agency has had a major presence in snooker since the 1980s.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, commented: “We’re delighted to maintain our partnership with Matchroom with this deal, which means viewers will continue to enjoy live, comprehensive free to air coverage of some of the biggest events in snooker for years to come.”