Drone Racing Becomes ESPN’s Newest Televised Sport

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May 10, 2016

Drone Racing Becomes ESPN’s Newest Televised Sport

First there was poker. Then there was the spelling bee, Scrabble and the recent emergence of e-sports.

Now ESPN is betting that speeding drones will be the next noncontact “sport” to find a mass audience.

The Drone Racing League announced on Wednesday that it had signed deals to broadcast a 10-episode season on ESPN and ESPN2, along with the European stations Sky Sports Mix and 7Sports. The schedule begins with an introduction to drone racing on Thursday at 11 p.m. on ESPN2.

Competition will begin on Oct. 23. ESPN2 will broadcast episodes on Thursday and Saturday nights, and ESPN will show the final episodes, including the two-hour championship on Nov. 20.

Drone … racing? It would be fair to wonder what that is. The technology to race drones is just a few years old, as is the technology to compellingly film them racing.

The league’s officials say the drones will zip through obstacle-filled courses at up to 80 miles per hour, piloted by six stationary humans wearing something akin to a virtual reality headset. Tiny cameras mounted on the drones offer the pilots a cockpit-like view, and they steer using joysticks similar to what you’d find on an Xbox controller.

“It’s an exciting, real-life experience mixed with video-gamelike dynamics,” said Nicholas Horbaczewski, the chief executive and founder of the league. “These races are short sprints. It has that thrill of a 100-meter dash or horse racing.” Read Full Article Click Here

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