Mark your calendars, because you’ve got fresh new content to watch on TV thanks to the Drone Racing League. The world’s largest drone racing entertainment group kicks off its DRL 2021-22 season next week. And if drone racing on its own wasn’t the future, this year’s version has another high-tech twist: drone racing now incorporates with blockchain.
The DRL 2021-22 season entails a long-term partnership between the Drone Racing League (DRL) and blockchain platform Algorand that its creators say “has no modern precedent in sports and entertainment.” Here are some of the ways you can expect the partnership to play out:
- Fans will be able to purchase blockchain-enabled tickets, collectibles and other transactions
- Expect to see Algorand hacakthon events occurring at DRL races around the world for crypto developers, programmers and coders
- Algorand will have the Title rights of the DRL World Championship circuit over the next five years
- DRL will develop a Digital Drone Racing series built into Algorand’s blockchain network
“Merging blockchain with drone racing is a bullseye for the league’s “tech-setter” fans, who are early adopters, open-minded to new forms of entertainment,” according to a statement from the Drone Racing League. “The companies share similar DNA – both have visionary founders, both revolutionize their industries with technology others have tried and failed to replicate, and both move at the speed of racing drones.”
You can watch it all during the DRL 2021-22 season, which premiers on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on both NBCSN and Twitter.
The 2021-2022 season bring together the world’s 12 best drone pilots, who will face 14 levels of racing through both iconic sports arenas and DRL SIM virtual maps. The winner will be crowned the World Champion.
Expect to see about 30 hours of drone racing throughout the course of the season. Physical courses will include Allianz Field in Minnesota (home to Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United) and the FedExForum in Tennessee (home arena to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies).
“The Drone Racing League’s global, tech-obsessed fans love that our sport constantly evolves, and blockchain was the next groundbreaking technology in our sights,” said DRL President Rachel Jacobson.
The Drone Racing League has been around since 2015, and since then has raised millions of dollars in funding from investors including Hearst Ventures, Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy and Miami Dolphin’s owner Stephen Ross’s venture-capital firm RSE Ventures. Earlier this year, DRL announced another big partnership with T-Mobile with the launch of its first-ever 5G DRL racing drone. That magenta drone allows the live streaming of high-definition racing footage so fans can see the pilot’s first person view racing footage in real-time over a high-definition feed with minimal latency or delay.
Will you be watching the DRL 2021-22 season this year? If so, what are you looking forward to most?