The PDC is beside the WDF the second international darts organisation. While the WDF looks after both the professional
players and the amateurs the PDC was and is at least at the moment only interested in the professional players.
The PDC was founded in 1992 as "World Dart Council" after 16 top players(Phil Taylor, Dennis Priestley, Rod Harrington, Alan Warriner, Peter Evison, Richie Gardner, Jocky Wilson, Eric Bristow, Keith Deller, John Lowe, Bob Anderson, Cliff Lazarenko, Kevin Spiolek, Jamie Harvey, Mike Gregory and Chris Johns) together with the managers Dick Allic (now event director), Tommy Cox (now tournament director) and John Marcovic(deceased) had decided to separate from the BDO. Two of the players, Mike Gregory and Chris Johns soon returned to the BDO and Jocky Wilson in 1995 withdrew from darts, but the rest battled through to build up the PDC.
The players, all earning their living with darts, were not satisfied how the BDO was marketing the sport, a lot of tournaments didn't exist any longer and beside the Embassy World Championship no other tournament was televised.
There was no longer as much interest of the public in darts and it was impossible to present the spectators drinking and smoking players at the Oche any longer.
Sky Sport was very interested in the split too - they wanted to televise darts but the BDO then worked and still works together with the BDO and was not interested to dissolve the contracts.
The first tournament of the new organisation were The UK Masters, which was played already in 1993, the second the PDC World Championship which was first played end of 1993 till the beginning of 1994.
2001 the original PDC board resigned to make room for "experts" with Barry Hearn at the top, who at that time already was a well-known sports promoter through his own company "Matchroom" for snooker and boxing.
Together with Sky Sports they managed to make the sport much more attractive on TV and they still work at it. The PDC as well adds new tournaments to the calendar all the time and tries to give the professional dart players a better image. The pressure on the players increases more and more. Sky Sports uses more cameras then the BDO, they even once tried it with cameras on the players to show their perspective. Other things Sky Sports introduced were the cameras showing the crowd and the walk-on of the players.
From the beginning John Gwynne and Dave Lanning were the commentators, later Sid Wadell and Stuart Pyke joined the team. Sometimes they are supplemented by former players like Rod Harrington or Eric Bristow.
The PDC tries as well to promote the sport all over the world and to sell it all over the world though the project "Darts in America" till now for the PDC was not really a success.
To really get worldwide the PDC probably would need partner organisation - it will not be enough to organise once a year a tournament or a Players Championship weekend as it happens in South Africa. One would probably need at least some kind of mini pro Circuit like it thanks to the PDC Europe and the DPA is organised on the European continent and in Australia.
The PDC recognised the WDF in the Tomlin Order as the governing body for the Sports of Darts worldwide and gave up it's claim on this position.
The price money it increasing all the time and a lot of tournaments are sold out.
There a played in more and more countries qualifications for the PDC World Championship so that the tournament really deserves the "world". The PDC still works most of the time together with Sky Sports though by now two newer tournaments are televised by ITV 4. Beside this the PDC has introduced a pay stream and fans outside the UK can follow the tournaments live.
At the moment there exist the following televised PDC tournaments:
Players Championship Final
Premier League doesn't count for the ranking
UK Open Final
World Grand Prix
Grand Slam of Darts doesn't count for the ranking
Championship League Darts tournament without spectators, can only followed by stream
Champions League Darts new 2016, doesn't count for the Ranking new
The Masters new 2013, doesn't count for the Ranking
PDC World Cup first played in 2010
PDC Unicorn Youth World Championship
Beside those Major tournaments the PDC organises the Pro Tour Circuit which can be played by all PDPA players. Through the circuit the players can play themselves into the top 32 or top 16 players, who are qualified for the Major tournaments. The Pro Circuit is played at the weekends and consists of UK Open Qualifiers and Players Championships.
From 2011 only a certain number of players, those with a tour card, will be able to play the Pro Circuit. The top 96 of the Order of Merit will get the card. Eight players will be invited and 16 players will come out of the Qualifying School, four qualifying tournaments, played in January 2011.
The PDC has different rankings. The most important is the Order of Merit, since 2007 a money ranking, in which all price money is included. Beside this there is the Players Championship Order of Merit, which is used for the qualifications for the Players Championship final and to which only the price money won in the Players Championships counts. And then there exists the European Order of Merit to which only the money won playing the Players Championships on the European continent counts and which gives European players who can't play the whole English Pro Circuit a chance.
Information Pro Tour 2012:
PDC North American Tour
PDC Scnadinavian Circuit
Besides the PDC runs a serie of tournaments for players on the way to professionals - the "Developement Tour" which consists of two parts. Part one is a series of tournaments for young players aged from 16 - 21:
The second part is a series of tournaments for those players who took part in Qualifying School but failed to win a Tour Card - the Associate PDPA Members:
You can find the PDC homepage here: PDC