The consumer drone market is growing exponentially and it looks as though sports broadcaster ESPN has been taking notice. An announcement by the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) confirms that a deal has been struck which gives ESPN the rights to provide coverage of competitive UAV racing events.
Leveraging the exciting visuals offered by a first-person perspective from the drones themselves, ESPN is hoping to get ahead of the game in attracting this emerging audience.
Their first official broadcast will be from the three-day US National Drone Racing Championships in New York this August. Coverage of this race will be available to stream online through ESPN's subscription service and hour-long roundups will be featured at the end of each day on their TV channel.
This is exciting news for anyone looking to get into this up-and-coming sport, which is now commanding prize money of up to $1million (World Drone Prix in Dubai).
See the video below for the IDRA's announcement of their multi-year partnership with ESPN:
Drone racing: The New 'Extreme Sport'
FPV drone racing, where participants compete at breakneck speeds, controlling their craft using goggles connected to a camera mounted on the drone's body, has gained popularity through countless videos on YouTube and across the web.
Benefiting from an image similar to that of skateboarding and other so-called ‘extreme sports’ in their heyday, drone racing is attracting young audiences and pilots who can’t get enough of watching (and flying) these miniature crafts around tracks at speeds topping 60mph.
However, there’s still the issue of getting people to actually go out and attend the races themselves as opposed to getting their drone fix online. This is something that the big UAV racing organizations are looking to target.
With large-scale events being set up across the world, including the Drone Nationals in Hawaii (October 2016) and the aforementioned three-day New York event being covered by ESPN, organisers are hoping to make drone racing the next big spectator sport.
Check out this giant sand art image of the Mavic 3 Enterprise - DJI's new compact drone optimised for aerial surveying. The artwork was created in partnership between heliguy™ and sand artist Claire Eason to mark the launch of the drone.
DJI has launched the Mavic 3 Enterprise and Mavic 3 Thermal. Both platforms are a new generation of portable and compact enterprise drones. The Mavic 3E is engineered for precision drone surveying, while the Mavic 3T is especially suited to public safety, search and rescue and inspection missions.
The Mavic 3 Enterprise is DJI's new compact and lightweight drone surveying solution. Read our in-depth comparison between the Mavic 3E and DJI Phantom 4 RTK and find out why the Mavic 3 Enterprise is a more efficient drone mapping solution.