Ministers urged to ensure World Darts Championship final is free to view


The World Darts Championship final should be made free to view so as many people can watch teenage star Luke Littler compete as possible, ministers have been told.

The Liberal Democrats suggested it would be “scandalous” for the game not to be aired on ITV and the BBC, as well as on Sky Sports, which is broadcasting the sporting event.

Sixteen-year-old Littler is the youngest-ever player to reach the decider of the tournament, and has garnered celebrity status for his performance.

On Tuesday night, he secured his place in the final with a 6-2 win over former champion Rob Cross.

Ahead of his appearance on Wednesday in the final against Luke Humphries, the Lib Dems urged the Government to follow the precedent of other major events in rugby, football and cricket, and ensure the coverage is free to watch.

The party’s culture and sports spokesman Jamie Stone said: “The country is gripped by darts fever and the spectacle of a 16-year-old Brit becoming world champion.

“It would be scandalous for this historic game to be hidden away from millions of people. The final must be on free to air TV. If football, cricket and rugby world cup finals are free to air, then so should darts.

“Sky Sports should do the right thing and share coverage with the likes of the BBC or ITV. Ministers have the power to put pressure on them.”

It is understood that broadcasters could come to such an arrangement themselves without the need for ministerial intervention.

Lucy Frazer, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, congratulated Littler following his semi final victory.

Writing on X, she said: “Great win from Luke Littler at the semi finals this evening.

“Getting to a world championship final on his debut at 16 and amazing how he is getting everyone taking about darts.”



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