BDO World Darts: Darryl Fitton hopes more events are televised

BDO WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Venue: Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green
  • Date: 4-12 January

Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app

Darryl Fitton hopes the BDO is able to get more major tournaments broadcast on television after his early exit from the World Championship at the Lakeside.

The 51-year-old two-time semi-finalist, who lost 3-1 to the unseeded Tony Eccles in the first round at Frimley Green, is seeking a new sponsor.

He told BBC Sport: "The BDO needs to push the darts a little bit more and maybe get more events on TV.

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In the last three or four years the PDC has grown so much, but that's with the influence of the BDO players that have gone over

Darryl Fitton

"If you get on TV, obviously people will want to sponsor the players."

The BBC recently agreed a new deal to televise the BDO World Championship until 2016, while this year's World Masters  was broadcast on Eurosport.

Fitton, from Stockport, added: "At the moment, there are only one or two tournaments on television and you've got to work really hard to get [to the World Championship] and put yourself in the shop window."

Only the four Lakeside semi-finalists are guaranteed to return the following year and Fitton admits it will be a struggle for him to make a 13th consecutive appearance at the tournament without the extra financial help from a new sponsor.

Fitton, seeded fifth this year, added: "You start from scratch every year and you've got to travel all over the world [to qualify]. At the moment, I haven't got a sponsor, so that's the difficult part."

He plans to stay in the BDO system, but believes other players could make an impact in the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) if they switch to the more lucrative of the two major darts bodies.

Newly crowned PDC world champion Michael van Gerwen was among the star names to compete in the BDO version of the World Championship before moving.

"There are so many good players in the BDO," said Fitton. "In the last three or four years the PDC has grown so much, but that's with the influence of the BDO players that have gone over in the last few years.

"The PDC is a fantastic system but I'm happy staying where I am. You play how you want to play and where you want to play."