Mon, Oct 20th, 2008 12:00:00 am
The prize money for the 2009 Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship has been increased by another £10,000, the British Darts Organistion (BDO) has announced.
Now standing at a total of £320,000 with £95,000 for the 2009 Men's Champion, it is the richest prize on offer in the 32-year history of the games which are televised live on the BBC and partner television stations around the world each January.
Thousands of players have competed from more than 30 countries to reach the final stage, set to play off 3-11 January 2009 at the Lakeside Complex in Frimley Green, Surrey.
"This will be the sixth successive year that Bob Potter's Lakeside has been our main title sponsor, and the 24th year that we have staged the World Pro at Lakeside", says head of the BDO, Olly Croft, "and we are delighted that Bob's commitment to these great Championships remains stronger than ever.
"Since Lakeside became main title sponsor in 2004, there have been consistent increases in prize money. In 2004, the Champions cheque was £50,000 and in 2009 it will be £95,000.
"That represents an incredible 90% increase!
"Jackpotjoy will be the BDO's official shirt sponsors for the third consecutive World Pro and I am delighted that they have made a commitment for another three years.
"Needless to say, the World Pro continues to maintain the history of darts at the highest possible participation levels, and is a true world event seen by the biggest TV audiences for darts anywhere in the world.
"The World Pro offers a wonderful mix of well-known experienced players, challenged by fresh faces and emerging talent, together with the finest officials, the premier broadcaster and the Number 1 venue in world darts."
Played at Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, Surrey - the home of World Darts - from Saturday 3rd January to Sunday 11 January 2009, the Men's World Professional Championship will celebrate 32 years of continuous coverage on BBC (1978 to 2009), while the only stand-alone Women's World Professional Championship will be staged for the 9th consecutive year (2001 to 2009).
"I am delighted that Lakeside is continuing as main title sponsor of these great championships for the 6th consecutive year", says Bob Potter OBE, proprietor of the Lakeside Complex.
"The atmosphere is truly unique and we are privileged to play host to some of the world's top players - men and women - who produce ever-increasing standards of darts excellence year after year.
"Needless to say, the increase in prize money reflects our commitment to the Lakeside World Championships, the BDO players and officials, and BBC TV Sport who combine to provide us with top-of-the-bill darts year after year," said Mr Potter.
In January 2008, the largest global audience for darts watched Mark Webster become the third Welshman to be crowned BDO World Professional Darts Champion (the first from North Wales), and Anastasia Dobromyslova create history as the first Russian BDO World Professional Women's Darts Champion.
BBC viewing figures for the Lakeside Men's final peaked at 4.1 million, which represented a 15% share of the overall audience.
The two men's semi-finals which were broadcast live enjoyed a total audiences of 2.6 million and 2.1 million each and every single dart thrown was seen by digital viewers to BBCi. In addition, the global audience was enhanced by coverage from SBS-6 of the Netherlands, Eurosport (the largest European sports satellite and cable network available in 54 countries and broadcasting in 20 different languages), and to 70 countries via BBC Worldwide.
This combined to produce the largest TV audience for darts anywhere in the world.
2009 PRIZE MONEY - MEN:
Semi-finalists £11,000 x 2
Quarter-finalists £6,000 x 4
2nd round £4,250 x 8
1st round £3,000 x 16
2009 PRIZE MONEY - WOMEN:
Joint 3rd £1,000 x 2
Joint 5th £500 x 4
Men & Women £3,000
Men & Women £52,000
Total available prize fund: £320,000
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