Formula E driving evolution in live broadcast coverage
Formula E is pioneering a new broadcast production facility in London that delivers state-of-the-art coverage of its live motor racing action from around the world while reducing the environmental impact typical of major live international sports events on TV.
Now in its ninth season, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will race in Hyderabad this Saturday, the first time the series has visited India. The race will air live on TSN5 at 4am et.
Beginning this season, the live international race feed distributed to more than 40 broadcasters and airing in more than 150 countries will be produced remotely from The Production Centre in London, a new state-of-the-art production facility developed by Gravity Media and located at the same address as the former BBC Television Centre in White City.
“At Formula E, as the world’s first net zero carbon sport since inception, we are constantly challenging ourselves to show how delivering world-class sports entertainment and maintaining industry-leading sustainable practices can co-exist without compromise, said Aarti Dabas, Chief Media Officer, Formula E in a statement. "Our technology and broadcast teams have worked closely with Gravity Media and Aurora Media Worldwide to help us achieve this.
"The London-based facility and new approach to presenting Formula E coverage helps us stay true to our vision of accelerating human progress and encouraging the adoption of EV transportation while entertaining millions of viewers around the world.”
The innovative production setup allows for the seamless remote integration of replay, audio and graphics into the live programme output, as well as a resilient disaster recovery system to ensure the broadcast feed remains uninterrupted in the event of technical difficulties.
A new multi-year partnership with Gravity Media, the leading media and broadcast company, alongside Formula E’s existing editorial partner, Aurora Media Worldwide, means the live broadcast feed of Formula E’s international races will be produced at Gravity Media’s Production Centre in London instead of a temporary broadcast facility installed at each race location.
“We are thrilled to be working with Formula E as the first partner to use our brand new, next-generation Gravity Media Production Centre in White City," said Ed Tischler, EMEA Managing Director, Gravity Media in a statement. By taking the bold, innovative step of relocating TV production from a temporary facility in a remote world city to London, we are changing the game for how major global sports events are covered on television.
"Our new Production Centre located in the heart of White City in The Westworks building will house a growing team of creative and innovative media specialists and we hope to encourage more major sports to adopt a similar approach for TV coverage of their live events.”
Formula E is unique in world motorsport for racing on street circuits created on public roads in the heart of world cities to encourage the adoption of EV vehicles. Hyderabad will be the 27th world city to host a Formula E race, the 104th in the history of the series.
This year, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will race in 11 world cities, more than any other season. Cape Town, São Paulo, Berlin, Monaco, Jakarta, Portland, Rome and London will follow Hyderabad while Mexico City and Diriyah in Saudi Arabia hosted the opening races of the season last month.
Live broadcast coverage of an international sports event is typically an environmentally intensive process with staff and equipment travelling by air. Centralising the majority of live editing and production at the 50,000 sq.ft facility in London significantly reduces the impact of staff travel and shipping of heavy production equipment.
Formula E has developed an on-board camera system installed on each race car with a live team radio feed that is considered the best-in-class in the motorsport industry. More than 200 cameras cover each race from every angle giving viewers an immersive, informative, action-driven experience.
Eleven teams and 22 drivers compete in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Two iconic names in world motorsport - McLaren and Maserati – line up on the Formula E grid for the first time this season.
As well as the innovative approach to broadcast production for TV viewers around the world, this season also saw Formula E and the FIA introduce the fastest, lightest, most powerful, and efficient electric race car ever built – the GEN3.
Capable of a 200mph (322kph) top speed, the GEN3 is 53kg lighter than the previous Gen2 model with a smaller chassis optimized for street racing. An additional front powertrain adds 250kW to the 350kW at the rear, more than doubling the regenerative capacity of the previous car to 600kW, with more than 40 per cent of the energy used in-race regenerated from braking.
The carbon footprint of the GEN3 has been measured from the design phase to inform all reduction measures taken to reduce environmental impact, while all unavoidable emissions are offset as part of Formula E’s net zero carbon commitment. The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the first and only sport in the world to be certified net zero carbon since inception.
Linen and recycled carbon fibre are being used in GEN3 bodywork construction for the first time in a formula car, featuring recycled carbon fibre from retired Gen2 cars and reducing the overall amount of virgin carbon fibre used. This reduces the carbon footprint of the production of the GEN3 bodywork more than 10 per cent. All waste carbon fibre will be reused for new applications through adoption of an innovative process from the aviation industry.