Extreme E launched into the world of live sport in the spring of 2021 with its pioneering electric odyssey. With a mission to drive climate change awareness through motorsport – and make it exciting, sophisticated and high-tech – electric SUV’s race off-road through remote parts of the globe touched by the environmental crisis.
The winning combination of high-octane racing, dramatic landscapes, famous drivers and a sustainable agenda have won over huge legions of fans. Over 18 million viewers were recorded at the start of Season 1, and as Extreme E hit Season 2 – which kicked-off with the Desert X Prix (NEOM, KSA, 19th-20th February 2022) – the growing broadcast audience is split across a phenomenal 180 countries.
UNIQUE event FORMAT
Extreme E is however a little different to the huge variety of motorsport events ADI supports each year. In order to minimise the carbon footprint at each race location, there are no fans or spectators en masse. Instead, Extreme E has been designed exclusively as a sports broadcast product for enjoyment by remote TV audiences, who can also watch exclusive content over live streams, Tik Tok and Instagram.
Creating a must watch occasion
From the outset, Extreme E wanted to create a futuristic media product, and chose to take a highly creative approach to showcase each race for remote audiences – while also ensuring viewers were put at the heart of the action.
ADI were brought on board ahead of Season 1 to support Extreme E in achieving their goal, and a major part of ADI’s remit was designing the technical sports presentation and live production within the Command Centre.
THE COMMAND CENTRE: ENGAGING REMOTE AUDIENCES
While racing is the star of the show, a key part of the audience experience is the Command Centre; a futuristic broadcast studio and strategy space. Viewers are invited inside throughout each X Prix, with the broadcast cameras getting close to the drivers and teams as they discuss tactics, celebrate wins and commiserate set-backs during the race.
Given the Extreme E format, delivering this solution isn’t simple, as ADI’s Dave Crowther explains:
Despite its temporary nature, the Command Centre has been designed to be innovative and engaging. To ramp up atmosphere and provide bold visual cues during live TV broadcasts, ADI integrated LED lighting fixtures and fine pitch LED inside the Command Centre, with a large arc-shaped desk clad in LED facing the broadcast cameras. All audio, 4k video and lighting can be triggered by live action as it happens during the race, with a custom software platform used to run the show.
It was important for ADI to design a play-out system that was incredibly agile and flexible given its use for live sports broadcast. Media and AV assets are changable at the click of a button, and easily operated by our team during live transmission, under the guidance of the Host Broadcast Director. With the occurrence of incidents or unplanned changes to the race format, the team can seamlessly reprogramme the system during transmission, with no disruption for the viewers at home.
SEASON 2: ENHANCED SOLUTIONS
For Extreme E’s second season, ADI are managing AV solutions across the whole event site, including the podium, media centre and team garages, which also feature in the X Prix broadcasts. ADI’s ownership of these elements brings streamlined technical production via a single provider, with greater consistency over staffing and operation.
The next stop in Extreme E’s electric odyssey will be the Copper X-Prix in Chile (24th-25th September), the Odyssey’s first race in South America.