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Extreme E teams up with NEP for eco-friendly broadcasts

Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series, has secured a number of broadcast partners, including NEP Group, to offer sustainable broadcasting production.

extreme e NEP eco-friendly sustainable broadcast partners

NEP, Aurora Media Worldwide and Extreme E have together collaborated on designing a technical solution to reach the most remote locations, whilst reducing the environmental impact of the production.

The full end-to-end solution includes flypack, remote production, crewing, satellite and fibre connectivity, edit, ingest, AR, GFX, display and projection, and specialist cameras using radio frequency (RF).

The system is being designed and built under the direction of Donald Begg, NEP's director of technology for major events. A statement from Extreme E read that Begg was "overseeing the realisation amid the challenges of both COVID-19 restrictions and the unique requirements of where and how the equipment will be used."

The flypack, which has been designed to survive in the most extreme conditions, will be connected to NEP's 'ultra high definition ready' centralised broadcast and media centre, located in London. The production will use the centre's extensive connectivity, remote production galleries, remote replay, edit and live centre monitoring, all currently being built at the London location.

The NEP team based in the Netherland's has developed new augmented reality (AR) tools for drone tracking and in-car graphics, alongside innovative use of RF technologies to work around environments where cable runs have to be limited.

One of the challenges that Extreme E and NEP reported facing was designing systems for deployment with limited crew numbers permitted on site.

"With NEP’s solutions, it has designed workflows and a system to support this smaller-sized team – all crew members are working as one team, supporting each other across disciplines from video to audio to cameras to rigging," read the statement from Extreme E.

Dave Adey, head of broadcast and technology at Extreme E, said: “After spending months working on these innovative broadcast solutions, many of which have never been used before, it has been great to see them all put into action at our recent test.

"We are travelling to such remote locations with Extreme E, which means there will be no second chance when we get to site, so this test has proved essential, and seeing all the hard work in real life has been very gratifying.

"We can’t wait to go racing later this year and show the world Extreme E through one of the most innovative productions I’ve ever worked on.”

Simon Moorhead, Managing Director of NEP UK Broadcast Services, added: “We’re thrilled to be working with the Aurora team on the Extreme E racing series and having the opportunity to develop an integrated set of solutions to support these unique events.

"Between designing for COVID restrictions and being mindful of our impact to the environment, we needed to create a workflow that connected limited production crew and equipment on site to remote production hubs while shooting from some of the world’s most remote and difficult locations. All of our teams came together to meet these challenges head on.”

The five-event calendar starts in March 2021 in Saudi Arabia, before moving to Senegal in May, Greenland in August, Brazil in October and Patagonia in December.

Author: Jake Wilkin