The latest arrangement between a broadcaster and drone racing has been announced, with Eurosport partnering with DR1 to beam competitive quadcopter thrills and spills to televisions in over 70 countries.
First up is a DR1 Invitational event in Los Angeles on November 8 but the terms of the contract stem far beyond this and will cover at least 3 racing series next year. These will include the Dr1 Champions Series which’ll be held in ‘iconic’ cities worldwide and the DR1 Micro Series. A statement from Eurosport said that this was a “crucial part of Eurosport’s strategy to showcase innovative content”.
Pilots including the United States’ Tommy ‘Ummagawd’ Tabajia, Luke ‘BanniUK’ Bannister from the UK and Australia’s Chad ‘FinalGlideAUS’ Nowak will take part.
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton commented: “Eurosport is constantly looking to innovate and we believe new technology, be it Virtual Reality content in our coverage or innovations within emerging sports, is a great driver of engaging fans in sport. It has been fascinating to see the continued growth in popularity of esports and the way DR1 combines this with the more traditional nature of sporting competition is an exciting model.
“We are looking forward to working with DR1 and offering fans the chance to follow the twists and turns of this exciting news sport on all Eurosport’s platforms.”
This won’t be DR1’s brand of drone racing’s first appearance on TV. An event in August was aired on both Discovery and Science channels, with Mountain Dew getting involved as a sponsor.
Brad Foxhoven, Founder of DR1 Racing said: “Eurosport showed a genuine appetite to not only broadcast drone racing through its linear broadcast channels but also play an important part in growing the sport via its social and digital platforms too.”
This deal follows on from one signed with another organisation in the sport, Drone Racing League, who signed deals with ESPN and Sky. Sky Sports Mix will, in total, air a ten part series as per this arrangement.
With more exposure of the sport on television the hope for this is that it attracts more competitors, more fans and of course more sponsors. These sponsors, if they invest in the right way, can help the sport to grow, further professionalise and to flourish.