Drone Racing League (DRL) says it has more than doubled its broadcast reach with the just-concluded 2021-22 season of high-speed drone racing. At the same time, digital viewership of DRL races has also skyrocketed, interestingly revealing China as the league’s second-largest market behind the United States.
The professional drone racing property says its 2021-22 events were broadcast on six continents through partnerships with more than a dozen sports networks. Streaming platforms such as Twitter, Star+, Weibo, and Yhizibo also helped to increase the league’s global awareness. So much so, DRL has emerged as the most followed drone brand on Weibo in China – a country where the league has tripled its viewership over the last year.
DRL credits its growth to young, global, tech-savvy fans who do not follow traditional sports or e-sports, but love tech-powered sports like drone racing. These “tech-setters,” the league says, love social media equally and are responsible for fueling DRL’s massive 400% growth on TikTok in the past year.
DRL CEO/founder Nicholas Horbaczewski is positive that drone racing will soon find a place among other major sporting leagues on the wings of new international broadcast agreements, new global partnerships, and new ways for fans to engage with the sport. Here’s Horbaczewski:
Over the past year, we’ve dramatically scaled our sport through A-list talent recruitment, in-depth fan research, and innovative partnerships with top global brands and media platforms. We’ve got an incredible team, the most tech-savvy fans of any sports league in the world, and a massive global distribution network from the US to China that has doubled our reach and fanbase.
Horbaczewski’s thoughts are echoed by the firm that helped DRL secure international media rights deals. Daniel Cohen, a senior vice president with Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting group, concludes:
DRL is one of the most exciting new properties in sports and offers sports media platforms thrilling content. We’re excited to watch DRL and drone racing continue to grow, as the league and sport reach new and larger audiences.