ESPN, America’s largest cable sports network, has partnered with the International Drone Racing Association(IDRA) to air FPV racing live. This marks the first time that a major network has jumped aboard the up-and-coming FPV bandwagon.
FPV is short for First-Person-View, and refers to special goggles that allow a pilot to see through a drone’s camera remotely, as opposed to a separate monitor or mobile device. Dedicated racing drones can easily average speeds of 60-70 MPH, with some reaching top speeds around 100 MPH–hence the exhilaration from the FPV experience.
Prior to the ESPN deal, drone racing has relied on the Web for coverage. But the extraordinary growth in the drone market, and increasing interest in drone racing, have propelled an underground phenomenon into the mainstream.
The deal shows just how serious big media are taking this young sport. It also shows how fractious that sport still is. The IDRA is just one of several organizations trying to take the lead in the sport. The Drone Racing League is one example, which concluded its initial season in Tampa. Dubai hosted its own event, the World Drone Prix, just last month.
The IDRA’s first televised race airs this August on ESPN3. In the meantime, stay connected to Drone World for all your drone racing information.