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Broadcast technology consultant Adey takes Formula E experience to Extreme E

Electric off-road racing series Extreme E has enhanced its operations division ahead of its launch next year with the recruitment of Dave Adey as head of broadcast and technology.

With the championship committed to lessening its on-site footprint for minimal environmental impact, Adey’s role includes sourcing and utilising cutting-edge technology which supports a remote broadcast and race control vision.

Adey has a background in motorsport having consulted for Formula E, for whom Extreme E founder and chief executive Alejandro Agag is also chairman, when the electric racing series launched in 2014.

Before that, his experience in the broadcast industry includes network director at UK public-service broadcaster the BBC in the early 1990s and head of broadcast operations at the ITV Digital arm of commercial broadcaster ITV at the turn of the millennium. He also held senior management roles at BBC Broadcast and Red Bee Media in the mid-2000s.

Adey, who left Red Bee Media in 2011 to become a broadcast consultant, remarked: “The experience gained through our work with Formula E has been a major benefit to us here at Extreme E. It’s been invaluable in helping us hit the ground running with Extreme E.

“We know exactly how to get infrastructure like this off the ground from a ‘standing start’. That said, the remote nature of Extreme E will provide us with a new set of obstacles to overcome entirely, on top of those we encountered during the formative years of Formula E.

“It’s an exciting prospect on a professional level – facing up to issues in locations that are entirely without basic infrastructure. Enabling remote production in places without any kind of mobile data, WiFi or power means we need to start from scratch in each case and we have to ensure we’re self-sufficient and self-contained to prevent an environmental impact whilst creating an event and the facilities to run and broadcast that event.”

To achieve this, Extreme E said a series of innovations and firsts will be implemented, with editing and production carried out back at the organisation’s headquarters in London before delivery via the world feed to broadcast partners worldwide.

Technologies will include specialised camera equipment and wireless infrastructure requiring reduced cabling, strategic placement of equipment to mimimise on-site and freight requirements, and the remote race control and television facilities.

The championship has announced rights deals with the BBC (UK), Fox Sports (United States, Canada and the Caribbean), Fox Sports Asia (Southeast Asia), Mediaset (Italy), Sony India (Indian subcontinent), Fox Australia, Dubai Sports (Middle East, North Africa), TVNZ (New Zealand) and BTRC (Belarus). Extreme E said it is currently in talks with more than two dozen additional providers.

As well as live broadcast coverage, following its launch in January 2021 the championship will be accompanied by a behind-the-scenes documentary series looking at the ups and downs of the series, its drivers, personnel and teams.