Contenders to Return? Hearn Claims Premier League Trial A Success.

The Contenders provided an opportunity for players and variety for fans. Will the idea be revisited in 2020?

German Darts Masters stats.
John Henderson Provided a PL Highlight with his Contender slot, earning a thrilling draw vs MVG.

Reports suggest that PDC will consider repeating, or even extending, ‘The Contenders’ place in the Premier League line up.

Chairman Barry Hearn stated earlier:

“I think it worked,” said Hearn. “Some of the matches produced electric atmospheres and the guys played well.

“One of the things we have to do is build characters for the future, and to build them properly they have got to be exposed to the general public and have experience on the big stage.

“The Contenders gave them a chance to show their wares. It will be on the agenda at the next PDC Board meeting.

“We’ve got to constantly evolve and we can’t get complacent – we’ve got to keep pushing the boundaries, keep being creative, innovate and take risks and we will do that.”

The introduction and success of the European Tour may suggest that exposure to stage matches, and a larger audience, can be significant in the development of more characters, and star players, it could be argued that the one-night Premier League trial is a similar tool.

The opposite view is that at least one player is missing out on an opportunity to develop over the course of the entire PL season. Both Gerwyn Price and Micheal Smith performed superbly in their second attempt.

In the end ‘Uncle Barry’ and the PDC board will make the decision, weighing a number of business, sponsorship, TV and player development factors. It will be interesting to see what system they come up with for 2020 and beyond.

Original reports from

Pics: PDC / L lustig

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