Can it even be called a sport? No matter what you think about drone racing, it could be about to blow up thanks to a new deal with sports broadcaster ESPN.
Drone racing is a small but fast growing sport. Now, the high-tech and very fast-paced sporting competition is heading to ESPN.
The sports network announced Wednesday that it has signed a multi-year contract with the International Drone Racing Association to televise the sport on ESPN3 this summer starting with the U.S. National Drone Racing Championships.
The race will take place in New York City from Aug. 5 to Aug. 7, according to ESPN’s press release. Pilots will fly multi-propeller unmanned aerial vehicles at high speeds up to 120 miles an hour around a race course, and the winner will be crowned the fastest drone pilot in America.
Nick Horbaczewski, the Drone Racing League CEO and founder, told Wired Magazine that drone racing offers the audience more than just a thrill of the race.
He says the cameras mounted on the drones make viewers feel like they are in the pilot’s seat with the help of real-time video feeds.
According to ESPN, drone racing is seeing an unprecedented rise in popularity and could become the next major racing sport alongside NASCAR and Formula 1 racing.