Competitive drone racing zooming onto our TV screens

Last updated at 05:34
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Drone racing is coming to our TV screens in the UK...

The world of competitive drone racing will be whizzing its way onto our TV screens for the first time.

Sky Sports have signed a deal with the Drone Racing League, who run some of the big competitive drone racing events around the world.

The Drone Racing League said: "It's going to be the first chance for an audience around the world to actually see competitive drone racing on TV".

Sky will show 10 one hour episodes of some of the the world's top drone racers battling it out, ending with the World Championships final.

But, we wanted to find out more about the new sport, and how popular it is...

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Take a look at some of the pilots in action

So how does it work?

Drone racing is super-fast, super-competitive and requires racers to steer high-tech flying machines around complex obstacle courses.

Known as FPV racing - or first person view - drone pilots use headsets to give them a drone's-eye view as they use a controller to fly around the course.

All the pilots competing in the event will fly the same type of drone, meaning when they win, it's down to their piloting skill and not the technology.

The winner of these competitions often takes home a big money prize, and earns the chance to compete in the World Championships, to claim the title of being the best drone-racing pilot in the world.

Check out when Jenny met Luke, a 15-year-old drone pilot from the UK who won the World Drone Prix.

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Live audiences can watch the drone racing using special headsets

How can people watch it?

People will now be able to watch drone racing on TV at home, but the makers found it was really challenging for people to watch the races live at the events.

This is because the drones are about the size of a dinner plate and travel at speeds of 80 mph - which can make them quite tricky to film and watch.

So, they have been looking into making special headsets which the audience can wear, so that they can see the drones from a FPV as well as the racers, and also see close-ups of the race on a tablet.

As well as this the makers have used bright and colourful LED lights on the drones and the obstacle course, to make things easier to see from further away.

For safety, some drone race venues put big nets all around the audience to protect them, in case any drones crash or get a bit too close.

The current professional race courses are all in America, but Sky are hoping to bring the first professional drone race to the UK soon.

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Organisers are hoping more people will enjoy drone racing in the future

How popular is it?

So far the audience for drone-racing is fairly small, but it is becoming more popular.

Around 223,000 people watched the U.S. Drone Racing Nationals held in New York on the American TV channel, ESPN.

That's pretty tiny when you compare it to the millions of people who tune in to watch football matches.

But it is about the same as the number of people who tune in to watch eSports - big competitive video-gaming events, which are also becoming more popular.

The organisers are hoping that by bringing the sport to people's TV and tablets, it will encourage more people to take an interest in drone-racing in the UK.

Find out more about the rules of flying drones here.