ESPN Signs Multi-Year Deal with The International Drone Racing Association (IDRA)
ESPN Media Distribution has agreed to a worldwide multi-year deal with the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA). Through the agreement, ESPN will bring the new sport of drone racing to fans in Europe, Middle East and Africa through representation of the IDRA rights with other broadcasters and media platforms.
The new distribution deal will see ESPN distribute the US Nationals and World Championships across the EMEA region, with the first IDRA event to be held on Governors Island, New York City, August 5-7, offering jaw-dropping views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
Commenting on the deal, Heather White, Director of Media Distribution, ESPN EMEA, said: “Bringing this growing new sporting competition to our clients, partners and fans across the region is a natural fit for ESPN. Nobody has been more at the intersection of sports and technology over the past three and a half decades than ESPN. The IDRA delivers high-tech, fast-paced action to very passionate audiences and ESPN Media Distribution is thrilled to add drone racing to our extensive range of sport, helping bring the excitement to fans in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”
“Drone racing gives anyone the ability to fly like a superhero,” says Dr. Scot Refsland, Chairman of the IDRA. “Because everyone can experience the thrill of racing as if they were sitting in the drone cockpit, the sport is skyrocketing. To go from a first ever, US national drone race to partnering with ESPN for international distribution in eight months is truly a sign of great things ahead.”
In drone racing, contestants fly small, multi-propeller aircraft, also known as drones, at high speeds around a racecourse to determine the winner. Pilots experience the exhilarating sensation of being in the aircraft by watching live video from a camera mounted on the front of the aircraft delivered to goggles over the competitors’ eyes. Spectators can also enjoy the ‘first person view’ sensation of racing in the drone by watching directly on their own goggles, online, on television, or live by attending racing events.
ESPN will also live stream the drone racing events in the US on its live multi-screen sports network ESPN3. The 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships and the 2016 World Drone Racing Championships in October will be streamed live on ESPN3 and, following each event, will be televised as a one hour special on one of ESPN’s U.S. networks.