Last night’s (January 3) PDC World Darts Championship final between Luke Littler and Luke Humphries drew a huge peak audience of almost 4 million viewers on Sky, the heavyweight pay-TV broadcaster.

The heroics of 16-year-old sensation Littler attracted huge interest as he became the youngest-ever finalist in a darts showpiece event in his debut appearance.

His semi-final win over Rob Cross had already broken viewership records for the sport and that was surpassed last night as he took on the experienced Humphries at Alexandra Palace in London.

A peak audience of 3.71 million viewers tuned in as Humphries ended Littler’s fairytale run with a 7-4 win to secure his first World Darts Championship. The final attracted a total audience of over 4.8 million. 

This made it Sky’s biggest non-soccer audience for a single event in its history and the biggest-ever viewership for a darts match. It marks a 143% increase on the 2023 final between Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen.

The mark was almost double the previous record which was set just a night before as 2.32 million tuned in to see Littler’s win over Cross.

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By GlobalData

Following the record-breaking final and the wave of interest in the sport, Sky’s documentary arm today announced it has commissioned a new three-part darts series.

The docu-series – called Darts – will offer viewers exclusive behind-the-scenes content and will be available on Sky and its Now streaming platform later this year.

The series, which will feature action from pre-tournament preparation to the final and beyond, follows up-and-coming hopefuls to top-seeded players.

Darts will be produced for Sky by production company Dorothy St Pictures, while Meadowlark Media, the US-based sports-focused original content company, will co-produce the series in conjunction with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

Tom Barry, Sky Documentaries commissioning editor, said: “This year’s World Championship has shown how Darts can captivate the nation.

"Going beyond just the competition, for the first time, we are thrilled to be bringing audiences closer to the action and give them a glimpse of what it takes to make it to the top.”

Sky holds exclusive domestic rights to darts and provides live coverage from major tournaments including the Premier League, World Matchplay, Grand Slam of Darts, World Grand Prix, and World Cup of Darts.

Meanwhile, the PDC has today unveiled betting firm BetMGM as the new title sponsor of the Premier League Darts competition.  

BetMGM, the online gambling and betting arm of MGM Resorts, will sponsor the 2024 season, which will begin on February 1, through to the May 23 season-ending playoff event at London’s O2 Arena.   

The brand takes over from the competition’s previous sponsor, UK car retailer Cazoo, which has sponsored the competition since 2022. 

BetMGM is the fourth different betting company to have sponsored the competition, following 888.com, Betway, and Unibet.  

The announcement marks the latest in a string of moves from BetMGM to expand its sponsorship portfolio in the UK market.  

The firm sponsors English soccer clubs Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Newcastle United. It also has a partnership with radio station talkSPORT.  

In the US, it has large-scale digital agreements with a number of the country’s major sports leagues, most recently renewing its digital tie-up with the National Hockey League.