PDC Home Tour II: Is a second iteration of the online innovation really needed?
When Matthew Edgar broke the news of a second instalment of the PDC Home Tour, I began to think, is there a real need for another home-streamed event, especially as ranked events have began and the Premier League is in full flow?
Since the news was released by the internet sensation, the PDC announced that the tournament would begin in earnest on Monday August 31 and run through to October 15.
In the first phase, each group will be comprised of seven players with the top three in each group progressing to Phase Two, alongside the five best fourth-placed players.
The inaugural edition of the Home Tour was a fantastic spectacle, which served it’s purpose of entertaining sports fans around the globe who were starved of sporting action due to the effects of the pandemic.
Darts was actually the first sport to ‘return’ to our screens with the Home Tour, which brought more interest to the event. The tournament was broadcast free of charge on PDCTV, whilst also being streamed live on the Sky Sports app which helped to increase the staging’s viewership.
Barring a few early technical hitches, the event received extremely good publicity and was generally regarded as a resounding success as Nathan Aspinall ran out the winner.
As the lockdown has eased and more and more people are getting back to work, it seems slightly strange that the PDC are bringing back the Home Tour, especially with the 70 lowest ranked tour card holders.
As the event is taking place throughout the day, it will be harder for fans to watch the action due to more people being back at work. Additionally, as no major stars are participating in the event, this indicates that viewership will be at a much lower level in comparison to the first staging of the Home Tour.
In my opinion, the event is designed to primarily show the public the strength in depth in the PDC whilst also giving more publicity to players down the rankings.
Although the spectacle will not be as big as the first iteration of the Home Tour, the overall champion will gain a massive confidence boost from winning the event and could go on to bigger and better things.
The PDC should be applauded for offering more opportunities to lower ranked players. They did not have to put this event on and this shows the commitment the PDC have to supporting every tour card holder within their system. Often anything the PDC touches turns to success.
In conclusion, although there were no calls for a second iteration of the Home Tour, it will be interesting to learn more about players lower down the rankings and the more darts on our screens the better!
It is almost certain that viewing figures and the general amount of publicity the event receives will be markedly lower, but still relatively successful. This suggests that the PDC are not running this event as a money-making exercise, and they deserve all the plaudits for going out of their way to support every professional player within their structure.
The PDC were right to provide a sequel of the Home Tour and I for one cannot wait to see the action continue to unfold – when I am on my lunch break at work that is!
(Featured Image: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics)