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    interview with barry hearn

    bellsta
    bellsta
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    interview with barry hearn Empty interview with barry hearn

    Post  bellsta on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:26 pm

    i took this from another forum Very Happy

    From Cameronuk : I think you have to take a lot of the credit for making darts so
    much more popular. What plans have you got in mind for the next stage of the
    sport's development or is what we see now where darts will remain for the
    foreseeable future?

    • Darts is the fastest growing sport in the world at the moment. Prize
    money has increased to over £5 million but we’re entering a period of consolidation.
    We’ll ride out the recession over the next couple of years and then will be time for
    the next big push.



    From Simon (ashtons1987) : When reading peoples autobiographys such as Bobby
    George, Phil Taylor & Eric Bristow, they all talk about the News of the World
    tournament and how your never classed as a great until you win this tournament.
    The tournament stopped for a while and came back in the 90's for a while. I think
    it is good for the sport to have a tournament like this, hard to win with the format
    being so short whilst allowing Joe Bloggs to enter via his local pub. Is there a
    possibility that we could see this tournament once again in the future?

    • The UK Open, which we introduced in 2003, gives 32 places for Pub
    Qualifiers to win a place in the finals and is probably a modern-day News of the
    World Championship.



    From Kendo Nagasaki :I think that two of the most watchable 9-Ball Pool
    promotions are the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup. Do you envisage a
    day when perhaps similar events might work for professional darts?

    • We would always consider new events but in the current recession it
    would not be the best time to introduce such tournaments, as I mentioned above
    the PDC are now entering a period of consolidation.



    From Peej : Is the PDC in danger of becoming over-reliant on sponsorship from
    bookmaking organisations?

    • We are always concerned if too many sponsors come from the same
    category, but have been delighted over the last year to welcome Whyte & Mackay
    and Virgin Atlantic as major sponsors. At the end of the day, you have to go
    where the money is, and at the moment that is the gaming industry.



    From Terry Kenny : Given the viewing figures of the two recent world championships,
    800K PDC final- 3million plus BDO final, and given the popularity of the european
    championships and the GSOD on itv, and the upcoming players championship finals
    also on itv, do you see any room for more events on terrestrial television, as it no
    doubt puts the stars in the pdc to a lot larger audience, and if so do you ever see
    pdc events being on the bbc? or are you happy to continue the blossoming
    relationship thats started so well with itv?

    • We must be aware of the dangers of over-exposure. While we would
    never say never to new events, at the moment in the UK I feel we are pretty much
    at capacity.



    From dartsfan11 : Given the sucess of the cross code competition Grand Slam of
    Darts, can we expect any more cross code events. Something similar to the world
    darts tropthy(straight knockout) which in my eyes was one of the most exciting
    events in the darting calendar.

    • No. The Grand Slam of Darts has been a great contribution to the world of
    darts, but our future plans only feature producing tournaments for PDC professionals.



    From mlman: Mr. Hearn, Could you please clarify how the PDC Tour Card will work?
    If most of the 128 cardholders won't be able to enter the World Matchplay, World
    Grand Prix, etc., but non-cardholders will still have to access to the Pro Tour, what
    exactly is the purpose of introducing tour cards? I'm not being critical of the idea;
    I'm just confused.

    • The Tour Card will make the game more professional and also make it
    mean something to say “I’m a professional darts player”. This will have a massive
    knock-on effect for our credibility, but of course it will be tough for the players and
    you have to be one of the elite. The top 128 players will get a Tour Card and be
    automatically able to play events, but if spots are available then we would go down
    the ranking list from the Qualifying School results to make the field up, but always
    limiting events to 128 players.
    Darts in the PDC isn’t a pub game, it’s a professional sport.



    From Tristan : On what basis does the PDC award the Premier League wildcards to
    players? What are the factors that play a major role in your decision? Why do you feel
    Wayne Mardle and Jelle Klaasen were the right choices this year?

    • This year, Sky Sports awarded the Premier League Wildcards, not the PDC.
    I think we’re all quite happy with the selection of Wayne Mardle and Jelle Klaasen and
    it looks like being the best Premier League ever. I think Sky got it right.



    From murphio : Do you offer financial incentives for BDO players to switch and if not,
    is it something worth considering?

    • I’ve read on the forum that some members believe we pay BDO players to
    switch. This is laughable. Why should we pay someone when there’s over £5 million
    prize money at stake and the alternative is playing for virtually nothing. I have never
    paid a player or will do to switch over, we only want players with ambition and ability.
    We all know where the money is, so there’s really no alternative.



    From lovingdarts2008 : Barry, Would you like to see a united World Championship
    again, or a bigger version of the GSOD?

    • In reality, it’s clear to see now that there’s only one World Championship.
    To call the BBC event the “World Professional Darts Championship” could, I believe,
    be referred to under the Trade Descriptions Act, but then I think any follower of the
    sport understands the true position. Incidentally, people always refer to the “history”
    of Lakeside as one of the reasons it’s still important – dinosaurs had history but they
    didn’t adjust to the climatic change and they too perished!



    From hotspur : In the global sense, which regions does the PDC aim to target growth
    in over the next few years. Are nations who already produce good players such as
    Sweden and Norway on the agenda (maybe World Championship spots), can the PDC
    make a mark in the USA (is TV a possibility over there), and as we have seen with
    other sports, are areas like China and Dubai realistic areas for growth?

    • We’re looking to globalise darts everywhere but my personal belief is that
    Asia will be the next big market. We won’t forget Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, and
    will continue our investment in the USA, South Africa and Australia but to me Asia is the
    next big push.



    From cultfigure : Who fills Barry Hearn's shoes at the PDC and Matchroom when you
    decide to call things a day? Thanks in advance.

    • Behind me we have an excellent team at the PDC and recently my son Eddie
    joined the Board of Directors – he’s more than capable of filling my shoes as he’s 6’ 5”
    and 18 stones!



    From Rich (Riverking1981) : Hi Barry, My question is after the world championships
    finished most people spoke about the positives of the "WC", great darts, new players
    coming to the fold, great entertainment, bringing the sport into mainstream media and
    the only negative surrounding the world championships was a portion of fans booing
    players and yelling out during vital doubles! Are you looking to eradicate this sort of
    yobbish behaviour or looking at ways of controlling unruly spectators for future
    tournaments?

    • Success brings its own problems and big crowds do sometimes lend
    themselves to overzealous behaviour. We’re concentrating on this but appreciate that
    sometimes there is a price for success.



    From archie : Barry, with the boom in the sport of darts is it possible that there could
    ever be a desire to produce a "Darts TV" or similar type of channel in the near or
    distant future? I am aware that obviously Sky has paid for rights for covering events,
    but surely with this in mind it could be done as a joint venture as there will be hours
    and hours of old footage from past years to top up air-time hours.

    • In today’s market, there’s no way you could produce a Darts TV station.
    To do so would mean overexposure to such a level that the game would be dead in
    two years. It’s just not viable.



    From Rudy : Hello Mr. Hearn, I'm from Holland and like many other "Dutchies" was
    quite disappointed and even mad about your pulling out of the 2 Dutch majors after
    initially intending to conclude a long term deal with Ad Schoofs. You promised new
    and better organized tournaments here instead, but so far it seems to have been a
    storm in a teacup and loose hope we all have been given. In the SoD interview you
    imply that SBS6 is in heavy financial weather and has been compelled to shift their
    programming priorities away from darts and that be the reason for the stagnation.
    My question is: wasn't SBS6's dying interest in darts coverage predictable, knowing
    they even wanted to buy off their contractual obligations with Ad Schoofs, and will
    you still be attempting to genuinely revitalize the Dutch darts market other than
    putting it under German "custody" (which was a very untactical move with regard
    to historical sentiments)?

    • Rudy, I’ve read your comments regarding Holland and don’t think you’re
    in possession of the full facts. Dutch events were dying long before PDC players
    started playing in the Dutch majors.
    Declining TV ratings, poor crowds, little atmosphere and amateur presentation
    were some of the reasons behind the demise of Dutch darts. I’d hoped that by
    supplying PDC players we could change this, but that wasn’t enough and audiences
    continued to fall below acceptable levels for SBS6.
    We had no deal whatsoever with Ad Schoofs beyond the last year we participated
    in the Dutch majors – no contract, no handshake, not even a nod. The reason was
    the events were not good enough. (Incidentally, this was upheld by the Courts in
    Holland, as you know).
    We will return to Holland, hopefully soon, and will continue our partnership with
    SBS6 for another two years at least, and hopefully begin to put darts back to the
    level it had reached before everybody got complacent and thought darts would
    live forever in Holland – a big mistake!



    From ego9 : What effect if any do you think the eventual retirement of Phil Taylor
    will have on the PDC and darts in general?

    • I’m sure there are a host of new stars ready to make their mark in the
    PDC but the biggest effect will mean that just some of the other PDC professionals
    will earn a lot more money!



    From Tony (aswsponge) : What about an idea of a PDC/BDO World cup idea, if its
    possible to do a grand slam of darts with both factions then why not this? What's
    better in any sport than representing your country in the top competition?

    • A World Cup idea may work with a different economic outlook, at the
    moment it’s dead. We are the only faction that matter, so there will be no extension
    of a Grand Slam of Darts.



    From Deano_180 :Mr Hearn, Where are the next genaration of British champions
    are going to come from as on average 5 pubs are closing each day (according to the
    Campaign for Real Ale) thus limiting opportunity to play darts, and that the Premier
    League, for example, as sucessful as it is, is inspiring people to go and purchase a
    ticket to watch darts rather than inspiring to go out and play darts?

    • There will always be people coming through the system and we are seeing
    more young players with talent emerging. Players are becoming more professional
    and there will always be bright new stars coming from the UK and around the world.



    Frm GBT :Mr Hearn, Why are you against the head to head between Hankey & Taylor?
    I don't see how it can harm the PDC in any way. Even if you see the result as a
    foregone conclusion it would still reflect positively.

    • I’m not against a head-to-head – where did you get that idea from?
    I’m in favour of it as I think it’s an easy game for Phil and easy money too.
    Unfortunately, that’s what TV companies also think too; that it’s a mismatch and not
    worth the money. Phil Taylor doesn’t play these type of games unless he gets well
    rewarded.
    I should add that we offered Ted Hankey £220,000 “Winner-Takes-All” with Phil
    Taylor putting up £125,000 and Ted putting up £95,000, but funnily enough this got
    turned down.
    Seriously, if a TV company came to us with an acceptable fee, we would do this
    match in a heartbeat.



    From James Egan : Hi Barry, I was wondering was there any chance we could get
    averages for the PDC pro tour floor events. At the moment we can't get these
    averages. It would be great to see Jelle Klaasens average for his 11 maximum in
    6 legs match recently, to see Phil Taylor’s match average for all his floor matches
    and to see how different players perform against him, Comparisons could be made
    to see how players averages differ to the TV averages, etc.

    • Blimey James, I thought I was an anorak but you are different class!
    The administration for such an idea would be too much money to implement this.



    From Barry ( bazza120478) :Mr. Hearn, Would it be possible to get the premier
    league to find a venue in Dublin? Personally I know of lots of venue's that would be
    big enough to hold an event of this size, and with the increase of popularity of the
    darts scene here in Ireland it could be a highlight of the premier league fixtures.
    And to add spice to the night you could even have it as a double in double out
    night too.


    • Yes. I like Dublin very much and am hoping we could stage something
    there in the future.
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    interview with barry hearn Empty Re: interview with barry hearn

    Post  Admin on Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:01 am

    thanks for that bellsta Smile

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