Geekery: Drone Racing is Coming to a TV Near You


ESPN is going to be showing the next wave in robotic sports starting this summer!

The International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) has cut a deal with ESPN that will allow all of us robotic dorks to watch on TV. The first event on the programming calendar will be the 2016 Championships being held this August – live coverage will be available on the WatchESPN app and there will be hour long recaps available on ESPN3.

For those unfamiliar: the IDRA holds competitions with three types of courses – team, speed/agility, and freestyle – and breaks drones into 6 classes based on motors, size, and builds. Drone pilots wear a visor that gives them a first person view of race from a camera on the front of their quadcopter. Races are based on how fast a pilot can maneuver through and around various obstacles (rings, gates, pillars, etc) on the course.

drone race pilots

Televised agility events will look a bit like this – you get a first person view of the course that’s in super crips high def, and it’s more engaging than what you’ll get from dash/car cams in auto racing.


Are you going to tune in?

  • Sputnikwriter

    Just don’t do it near Heathrow Airport, yes?

    • I hope that putting together constructive leagues like will help curb idiots doing extremely dangerous crap like that… and that the person piloting that drone has the book thrown at them.

  • surfpenguin

    Okay, so according to ESPN this is a sport but competitive MOBA gaming isn’t…typical.

  • Socrates Kentaro Matsuura

    wish they would start adding paintball guns to those to make it more lika rock n roll racing 😀
    or since its not hurting the pilot anyway – little rockets and air rams to knock other drones from the sky