The drone racing community’s reaction to the ESPN broadcast deal is, as expected, highly positive. The close-knit pilots, hobbyists, and fans have always been happy to welcome newcomers.
The news was picked up by most news outlets around the world, especially in heavy drone racing hotspots like Mexico, China, and throughout Europe. The pressure is on ESPN3 to live up to its promise and provide quality international streaming. Although, based on some quick translation, most international fans will be finding a pirate stream anyway.
On that note, many people in the US were confused about if they could access ESPN3. It’ll be important to provide some education for those fans as the date draws near. A high viewership (that’s actually watching it on ESPN) will keep drone racing broadcasts going.
Leagues were also upbeat about the news and IDRA’s success. Anything that grows the sport is good for the community in general. Chris Thomas, President of MultiGP, had this to say:
“The ESPN and IDRA announcement is very exciting for the sport in which MultiGP nurtures daily at a grassroots, regional and national level.
As our 7,000 pilots compete through our Regional Series, we look forward to seeing them beat the competition on the big screen as they have been given the tools and resources to help make them competitive.”
If IDRA is the “NFL of the drone world“, that must make MultiGP the NCAA.
While we’re talking about growing the sport, it’s helpful to remember that many people don’t care, and will never care, about drone racing. As fans, it’s easy to get caught in the hype bubble. Not everyone is like us, and that’s okay:
Well, if they still televise Golf, the most boring of sports, then why not this silliness. https://t.co/nmGP97Oj7B
— Michael Gartenberg (@Gartenberg) April 14, 2016
Some will try to care but not quite understand it. Like CNBC using the wrong type of drone from its stock photos.
But for those who do care, there was increased motivation to keep training. As one pilot remarked, “Oh boy I need to qualify immediately.”
Finally (and most importantly) Justin Haggerty, Founder of IDRA, has a mother who cares.
— Bonnie Haggerty (@cfofaireglobal) April 14, 2016
If only ours were as proud.