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Drone Racing League Doubles Global Viewership

One season made all the difference, as the DRL now has a presence in 140 worldwide markets.

After Evan Turned claimed the Algorand Trophy at the DRL Vegas Championship on Sunday, the Drone Racing League (DRL) announced its biggest win of all.

The DRL more than doubled its broadcast viewership from its previous season, according to the league. With the help of 13 sports networks airing DRL action — including giants such as NBC Sports, Sky Sports, FOX Sports, and more — there are now substantial fan bases in six different continents and 140 worldwide markets. Overall, broadcasts have made it into over 250 million households.

“The Drone Racing League is on the fast track to take its place among the major leagues,” DRL CEO/Founder Nicholas Horbaczewski said in a press release. “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 U.S. to China that has doubled our reach and fanbase.” 

Photo courtesy of the Drone Racing League

The DRL expanded its existing media partnership with NBC Sports and Twitter by securing 30 hours of original 2021 programming during primetime slots. The partnership with NBC proved to be especially fruitful, as the DRL aired 60% more hours on NBC than last season — including a race on Christmas Day. 

On Twitter, races saw a 20% increase in viewership. China saw a similar increase, tripling viewership in the world’s population leader.

These growths were boosted by landing major partnerships. DRL inked a $100 million deal with blockchain company Algorand in September, followed by deals with global UAV Leader Draganfly in October and Nacon Strike Gaming in November. Also in November, the league unveiled its first mobile game, Drone Racing Arcade.

“DRL is one of the most exciting new properties in sports, and offers sports media platforms thrilling content,” Daniel Cohen, Senior Vice President of Global Media Rights Consulting, Octagon added in the press release. “The exhilarating drone racing action has captured millions of fans worldwide, leading linear and digital platforms around the world to want to partner with DRL. We’re excited to watch DRL and drone racing continue to  grow, as the league and sport reaches new and larger audiences.”

What’s next for the DRL? Only time will tell, but the foundation for what’s to come is rock solid.

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a Staff Writer covering sports business and music for Boardroom. Before joining the team, he previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features he has written include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" - Hampton University - is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.