BDO or PDC?

BDO or PDC?

Spain are the current football champions of the World. Ronnie O’Sullivan is the current Snooker World Champion. Alan ‘Nasty’ Nash is the World Toe Wrestling Champion (Seriously).

However, it is not always so unequivocal. By next Sunday there will be two darts players who will be able to add the term ‘World Champion’ to their CV. At the start of the year Phil Taylor overcame Michael Van Gerwen to become PDC World Champion. Only a few days later, the first darts of the BDO World Championships were thrown – as well as the now customary volleys of criticism from followers of its rival faction.

The split, which has resulted in two concurrent World Championships, occurred in 1993. Reacting to declining TV coverage and an unhealthy public image, sixteen players (all of which were previous World Champions) formed the World Darts Council and pledged to only play in the 1994 World Championships if it came under the jurisdiction of this new body. The BDO refused and the rebel players were banned.

A year before, BSkyB had audaciously purchased the rights to broadcast the newly formed FA Premier League. They saw similar money-making potential in the new rebel group of darts players. In the year that Manchester United won their Second Premier League title, Dennis Priestly won the first ever PDC World Championships – the new and powerful rival to the old BDO.

The BDO’s perennial criticism is that the quality of darts simply isn’t high enough for the title ‘World Champion’ to be taken seriously. In the 2012 BDO World Championship only 6 players averaged over 90 throughout the tournament. In this year’s PDC event 29 players averaged over 90. Furthermore, the top 10 BDO players threw 165, 180’s between them throughout the whole championships. The 10 best PDC players threw 278 maximums. Darts is a numbers game, and the numbers uncontrovertibly prove that better players play in the PDC.

So the players in the BDO aren’t as good as the ones in the PDC. Perhaps there are certain things that can’t be measured that give the organisation its value. Things like history or legacy. In 2010, Barry Hearn offered to buy the BDO and amalgamate the two factions. His offer was rejected. There was something refreshing in the rejection of what was essentially Murdoch’s money and the old guard’s resistance of buying into the BSkyB monopoly– particularly in the face of recent events. Furthermore, there is a certain nostalgic charm of the BDO championships. It was the first ever major televised darts championship; the competition which gave the world such great figures as Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson.

However, in a world in which televised sport is big money, nostalgia is not worth very much. The BBC has just agreed to televise the BDO Championships until 2016 and until that time, the Lakeside competition will continue to dominate New Year sport scheduling. However, there may come a time after this point when the BDO can no longer afford the allure of its more affluent relative.

There is no doubt that I will watch this years Championship with enjoyment and enthusiasm, however I won’t be able to suppress a wince when the supposed ‘World Champion’ is eventually crowned. The accolade simply isn’t true.

 

10 Responses to "BDO or PDC?"

  1. Kennedy Williams  11/01/2013 at 08:24

    The BBC may have agreed to televise the BDO Championship but has lost almost all live rights to ESPN, in fact if you look at the coverage they are showing it is less than ever before. So the BDO might not have sold out to SKY but have done just the same to ESPN. Surely it would have been better to amalgamate when they had the opportunity rather than this farce?

  2. tim henman  11/01/2013 at 20:52

    “all of which were previous World Champions” – not true

  3. Anonymous  18/01/2013 at 20:54

    Well last time Phil Taylor played Scott Waites at the GSOD, Scott won.

  4. Anonymous  12/06/2013 at 14:13

    Are you honestly going to say Scott Waites is as good as Phil Taylor?

  5. Anonymous  15/07/2014 at 23:20

    It’s got nothing to do with numbers or who is better. What the money grabbers did to the BDO is unforgivable. Only the BDO counts with me.

  6. Joel Zwicker  29/07/2014 at 19:04

    As someone who does not know 100% of the politics that existed 20+ years ago, I can only comment as a current avid fan from across the pond in Canada. I watch both BDO & PDC tournaments on TV & online and honestly BDO is like watching paint dry. Be it the commentators or the scorers announcing the given tallies the BDO is sorely lacking compared to the PDC. It would also appear that the caliber of play is far superior in the PDC, if you look at the 9 & overall dart averages or the number of legs won in 9,12,15 & 18 darts the results are far and away better in favor of the PDC. Outsider looking in, no comparison what so ever PDC hands down the better organization.

  7. emmet  07/01/2015 at 19:41

    BDO STANDARD IS TOTAL SHIT, 86 AVERGE IS CLASSED AS GOOD THERE, PDC IS THE BEST, SCOTT WAITES IS SHIT AND MVG AND TAYLOR AND LEWIS AND ANDERSON WOULD DESTROY O’SHEA AND ADAMS AND WAITES. IF THE WORLD CHAMPION FROM THE PDC AND BDO EVERY YEAR, BDO WOULD BE LUCK TO WIN 1/100

  8. emordecai  08/01/2015 at 01:27

    The overall quality of darts from the PDC players is far higher and it will be as the money available enables more players to play full time. I have watched both championships this year and as a TV viewer the PDC/Sky package is far superior in every sense. However, I am not going to take anything away from the BDO players. The Fitton/Norris match was of a high standard for a 2nd round match and Peter Sajwani the qualifier who was eventually thrashed by Robbie Green showed how far a casual player with a bit of bottle can get. Remember Kurt Smith? Some seeded players in the BDO have full time jobs. I can only respect that. The BDO will always now play second fiddle to the PDC but does that really matter!? How many of us who follow a premiership team happily watch non-league football because we love the game and competitive nature of it?

  9. Jeff  10/01/2015 at 18:46

    No contest, PDC winner is the real world champion. The BBC/BDO event is a mixture of lesser players and probably the worst presenter on tv (Colin Murray) If any of the BDO players achieve any success they soon defect to the PDC where the real top quality darts is played!

  10. ray ingram  11/01/2015 at 18:19

    Thing is with the bdo players you have never heard of most of them …fact

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