SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 14, 2016) - Sky has invested $1m in The Drone Racing League (DRL), and has agreed to a distribution deal that will see the thrilling world of elite drone racing come to the newly launched Sky Sports Mix channel.
DRL is the global leader of First Person View (FPV) drone racing, which features elite pilots each flying a custom designed, hand built and identical drone, through complex, thematic, three-dimensional racecourses that have been compared to a real life video game. The DRL media team creates and continues to innovate a custom-designed broadcast and race infrastructure to capture the fast, close proximity racing.
In addition to Sky's investment, Sky Sports has completed a distribution partnership with DRL to bring live events and broadcast content to the UK and Ireland. Airing as ten, one-hour episodes, the 2016 DRL season covers five races including a winner-take-all world championship to crown the best drone pilot. The broadcasts will air from this October on the newly launched Sky Sports Mix channel. Sky Sports Mix will provide an introduction to the sport for millions of Sky customers at no extra cost, with live sports every day.
Sky Sports and DRL will also team up with London & Partners to bring an official DRL race, the first professional drone race in the UK, to an iconic venue in London.
Emma Lloyd, Group Business Development Director at Sky, said: "We're thrilled to be partnering with DRL to help develop this exciting new sport. The investments we make are all about driving innovation, and ultimately improving the Sky experience for customers.
"We're really looking forward to working with the team at DRL to grow the sport and to bring something completely different to UK screens."
DRL CEO/Founder Nicholas Horbaczewski said: "This is an incredibly exciting day for DRL. Our team has worked tirelessly to develop the technology, racecourses, and sporting rules needed to deliver the most elite, competitive, and thrilling drone racing league on the planet. We can't wait to share it with fans around the world.
"Having a distribution deal and strategic partnerships with Sky will bring DRL to tens of millions of viewers. With their expertise and our industry leading technology, media production and development of the best competitive racing, we believe we can truly grow a global franchise around this futuristic, high-speed racing sport."
In addition to the partnership with Sky, today, DRL has also announced key multi-year, international event and media distribution partnerships with ESPN and 7Sports, the sports business cluster of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE. DRL has also completed a global media production partnership with MGM Studios to develop unscripted shows exploring the world of DRL, and its pilots and technology, allowing existing fans to get a deeper look into the league and technology while bringing new fans to the sport. Further, DRL and MGM are partnering to develop DRL content across a range of new formats including Scripted TV, Movies, Cartoons, and VR.
Notes to editors:
1) References to Drone Racing League and DRL are to Drone Racing League Inc.
2) Gross assets subject to this transaction were $1m
3) Profits attributable to the assets subject to this transaction were $nil
Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company, serving 22 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.
Sky has annual revenues of £12 billion and is Europe's leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of £5.2 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).
For more information visit www.sky.com/corporate
DRL is the premier drone racing circuit for elite FPV pilots around the world. A sports and media company, DRL combines world-class flight skill and proprietary technology to create thrilling drone racing content with mass appeal. In 2016 DRL is hosting a global events series culminating in a World Championship. Founded by Nicholas Horbaczewski in 2015, DRL is a privately held company headquartered in NYC.
For more information on the 2016 race season, visit www.drl.io. To join the conversation, follow DRL on Facebook at facebook.com/thedroneracingleague, on Twitter @DroneRaceLeague, and on Instagram @thedroneracingleague.