The Drone Racing League (DRL), global leader of elite First Person View (FPV) drone racing, today announced key multi-year, international event and media distribution agreements with three world-renowned sports broadcast and media companies including ESPN (North, South and Central America and the Caribbean), Sky (UK and Ireland) and 7Sports, the sports business cluster of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE (DACH). Airing as 10, one-hour episodes, the 2016 DRL season covers five races including a winner-take-all world championship to crown the best drone pilot. DRL will also partner with MGM Television to develop unscripted shows, executive produced by prolific producer Mark Burnett, exploring the world of DRL, its pilots and technology, allowing existing fans to get a deeper look at the league while bringing new fans to the sport. The broadcasts will air starting this October on ESPN/ESPN 2, Sky Sports Mix and ProSiebenSat.1 platforms on free-TV, pay-TV and digital channels, and will feature 25 of the fastest FPV pilots from more than eight countries competing for a professional contract in the 2017 season and the coveted title, “World’s Greatest Drone Pilot.”
“This is an incredibly exciting day for DRL. Our team has worked tirelessly to develop the technology, racecourses, and sporting rules needed to deliver the most elite, competitive, and thrilling drone racing league on the planet. We can’t wait to share it with fans around the world,” said DRL CEO/Founder Nicholas Horbaczewski. “Having distribution and strategic agreements with ESPN, Sky and 7Sports will bring DRL to tens of millions of viewers around the globe while reflecting a collective commitment to DRL from the world’s best sport broadcasting companies. Our partnership with MGM Television, led with the keen eye and creativity of Mark Burnett and his team, will introduce new audiences to the sport. With their expertise and our industry leading technology, media production and development of the best competitive racing, we believe we can truly grow a global franchise around this futuristic, high-speed racing sport.”
DRL races feature six pilots each flying a custom designed, hand built and identical DRL drone, the DRL Racer 2, through complex, thematic, three-dimensional racecourses that have been compared to a real life video game. To capture this high speed, aerial sport, DRL manages race production in-house with a team of broadcast sports experts led by DRL Head of Media, Tony Budding. The DRL media team creates and continues to innovate a custom-designed broadcast and race infrastructure to capture the fast, close proximity racing. ESPN, Sky Sports and 7Sports will each help DRL reach new audiences across their broadcast and digital channels, while delivering FPV to a new generation of racing fans.