Darts are the latest niche sport to deliver big streaming numbers. BBC America just completed coverage of the William Hill World Darts Championship from London, and delivered 2.6 million live streams across BBCA.com / Facebook / YouTube when the competition concluded January 1. BBCA pilled in a variety of brands for the broadcast coverage as well, including Geico, TD Ameritrade and Mountain Dew. BBCA Executive Director Courtney Thomasma explained how and why the network hit a rare sports bullseye.
On Why Darts: Darts brings together everything we love about sports – competition, drama, suspense, excitement and passionate fans. It is second only to “football” [soccer] as a televised sport in UK – so it makes perfect sense to have BBC America as its new and growing home in the U.S.
On The Biggest Surprise In The Numbers: The passion of the fans, both old and new. It only takes a single viewing to witness the electricity of the crowds at the live events. And the social conversation among those discovering the sport on BBC America has been equally enthusiastic. It’s really fun to watch people having fun!
On Streaming: Both Premier League Darts and the World Darts Championship drew millions of views on our digital platforms and saw significant growth over the course of the season – which really speaks to the compelling nature of the content and the growing interest for the sport in this market. And we believe there’s still huge potential for further growth as we continue to build awareness and expand our platforms – an exciting space to watch!
On Brand Engagement: We have seen a lot of advertiser interest in this property because it delivers a discerning, hard-to-reach male demo within a highly-engaging environment, which enables advertiser messages to stand out. Plus, darts delivers on the holy grail of sports – it’s consumed live!