Drone racing to hit ESPN this year
With a number of semi-professional leagues popping up around the world, drone racing has teetered on the edge of mainstream sport for a little while now. And a new broadcast deal signed between the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) and ESPN certainly won’t do its popularity any harm, with a series of cashed-up race events to be showcased on the network later in the year.
Over the past year or so, drone racing has quickly gone from an underground activity drawing DIYers to empty carparks and abandoned warehouses to something approaching a professional sport. Last month’s US$1 million World Drone Prix in Dubai saw an English teenager take home $250,000, seriously raising the stakes from preceding events like last year’s US National Championship, which offered $25,000 in cash prizes.
And the sport is showing no signs of slowing down. ESPN’s new multi-year, international distribution deal will bring a number of races to television screens this year, beginning with the 2016 US National Drone Racing Championships on Governors Island, New York City, between August 5 and 7.
Dr. Hans Mumm