The sport of drone racing now has its own 24/7 online channel, Drone TV, which launched today on the streaming TV platform FilmOn.com (FOTV).
The channel will feature 10 new one-hour episodes of programming each week, as well as coverage of major championship events, and highlights from thousands of hours of archives.
In addition to races, the channel will also feature interviews with the racers and engineers leading the sport.
“”It’s truly the next NASCAR and watching these little warriors tear it up at 100 MPH is sick, addictive fun,” said FOTV Media Networks CEO Alki David om a statement. “It’s truly the next NASCAR and watching these little warriors tear it up at 100 MPH is sick, addictive fun.”
FOTV also announced that Drone TV will be the featured media partner for Interdrone, the international drone expo in Las Vegas, Sept. 7–9.
FAA officials estimated that one million drones would be sold to consumers in the 2015 holiday season. As the sales have increased, so have the accidents, from a toddler in the U.K. who had his eyeball slashed by a drone’s propeller to a Lufthansa jet that nearly collided with one of the unmanned crafts at LAX. Drone fails are now their own genre on YouTube.
Big media conglomerates are getting into the action, too. As part of a multi-year pact between the International Drone Racing Association’s (IDRA) and Disney-owned ESPN announced in April, the IDRA’s 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships in New York City (Aug. 5–7) and the inaugural World Drone Racing Championships in Hawaii (Oct. 17–22) will be streamed live on the digital platform ESPN3, with highlights subsequently televised as one-hour specials on ESPN’s linear TV network.
FilmOn is a division of Beverly Hills, Ca.-based FOTV Media Networks, Inc., along with CinemaNow, OVGuide and Hologram FOTV Productions. Founded in 2006, FOTV Media Networks has more than 600 channels featuring licensed, owned and original content covering verticals that include news, sports, movies, music, food and travel, which reach over 70 million monthly unique users from around the globe. It also broadcasts on linear TV via the Dish Network.
Drone TV was founded by direct response marketing firm Dreamprize and Skip Fredricks, a cinematographer and TV producer who whose credits include the extreme sports show “XSTV: Xtreme Sport Television,” which aired on Fox Sports in 1997. Fredricks is also an FAA-certified drone flight Instructor at the Unmanned Vehicle University in Phoenix, AZ.
“Here’s the deal, you take your gamers, pretty much living in their home caves 24/7 playing first person shooters, kind of white and pasty from never leaving that room, toss in some BMX riders, skateboarders, your basic extreme sport athlete tatted from head to toe, put a racing drone in their hands, strap some FPV glasses on his face and the reality gets twisted, augmented, virtual, 360VR, and does it really matter, you’re in the seat, you’re flying the Death Star trench at 80 miles-per-hour and its outside in the real world racing in a virtual one,” said Fredricks in a statement. “That’s drone racing and that’s why we created Drone TV. It truly gets you high.”