Behind the scenes with Formula E’s television production team

For the past seven years, Formula E has raced on city streets around the world, from Beijing back in 2014, all the way through to Berlin last month.

The 2020-21 season was the most competitive in the championship’s history, with Mercedes driver Nyck de Vries clinching the title by 7 points in the season deciding round.

The nature of the championship has presented challenges for North One Television and Aurora Media Worldwide, who produce Formula E’s television offering under the FE TV banner.

We caught up with the team in London to see how the championship makes its way to fans watching around the world…

The high-level geographical setup

As well as the complexities caused by racing around the streets of cities such as Rome, Paris and London, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused extra issues for the TV production.

During normal times, most top-tier sports keep the same ‘core’ production team week in, week out, ensuring that the quality of the output remains the same for the viewer watching.

However, the late cancellation and rearrangement of events has resulted in clashes, meaning it has been harder for the team, led by Formula E’s TV director West Gillett, to keep providing a consistent product to viewers.

“It’s definitely been a harder season for us, not only because of the restrictions, but also because a lot of the crew don’t want to travel, to come home and have to quarantine,” Gillett explains, chatting to Motorsport Broadcasting from the expansive ExCeL Centre, home to the London E-Prix.

“We’ve had to open up our crew to a much bigger pool of people, and to not have that consistency is hard,” he says.

“We’re having to start afresh every time, and that’s been quite tiring, but we’ve been fortunate enough to have the right people in the right places.”

Prior to COVID, around 20 broadcasters brought their own personnel with them on-site, a number that reduced to just 1 when the pandemic hit.

Geographically split across three different locations, Timeline Television’s base in Ealing, West London serves as production base for Formula E’s wrap-around programming and team radio feed.

Timeline supports broadcasters such as Star Sports in India, and CBS in US, as well as other broadcasters who take the English language feed, with 35 people producing content from Ealing.

Al Kamel Systems operate from Barcelona and houses Formula E’s graphics operators. In addition, a team of 100 people, led by Gillett, produce content on-site.

The on-site team produces the race feed, as well as the ‘big screen’ displays around each venue, linking in with both the Ealing and Barcelona bases throughout.

At any one time, the production team have up to 40 different feeds coming into them. For the London E-Prix, Formula E operated 18 track cameras.

In some instances, Gillett positioned cameras on top of scissor lifts and cherry pickers, with Jib cameras also utilised.

Capturing the speed

The external angles have evolved significantly since Formula E’s first race in Beijing 2014, helping to capture the speed of the machinery.

“We were panning quite wide [in Beijing], and we found the cars to be a bit slow. A little trick is to start wide, and then zoom into the car, as it enhances the speed on the pan,” Gillett explains.

“I also bring the cameras closer and lower, as the closer you are to a subject matter when it comes past you, the faster it looks. When you’re much further away, the subject is moving slower across your eye line.”

“It’s finding the right balance, we have the ground level cameras where we need them, to enhance the speed, and then the higher cameras to show the circuit and the corner.”

Inside the Formula E production gallery with director West Gillett.

In addition, Gillett has 6 high-speed mini cameras, 8 on-board camera angles and 6 RF cameras to utilise during the race itself.

With a limited number of on-boards coming through however, there is a risk that incidents further down the field go uncaptured from a close-up angle, as has happened on occasion during season 7.

Gillett relies on the engineers to “choose the on-board that is most relevant at the time, otherwise we’re going to have 24 cameras coming in, which is too much.”

“If [Sebastian] Buemi is chasing [Lucas] di Grassi down, ideally, if di Grassi has a rear facing camera, I’ll have that on and I’ll have Buemi’s forward facing camera on.”

On the team radio front, a professional motor racing driver, believed to be Charlie Butler-Henderson, listens to the incoming feeds from Ealing.

“He is listening to the feeds remotely through the MRTC, which is the same system that the teams listen to. If we’re focussed on a particular subject, he’ll start listening to that driver and bring in anything of relevance,” Gillett tells me.

Like with the on-board angles, the team may miss some of the ‘juicier’ team radio snippets with only one person from the team monitoring the feeds, however, given the length of the races, it would be impossible to fit in every interesting soundbite.

How replays happen

Formula E generates replays from a separate production booth on-location, with four different operators analysing all the available angles for the gallery to play out on the feed.

Gillett explains, “My VT coordinator will select what’s going to be coming each time. For example, if I’ve got a replay of Nyck de Vries, there might be two or three angles.”

“With any replay, the first angle tends to explains what happens, the second angle would be an effects angle and the third angle an onboard. If I’ve got three angles, I start the first one on line A, the second one on line B, the third one on line C.”

The narrative from the production team helps commentators Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti decipher what happened with each incident during the race.

Nicholls, who has been lead commentator on most of Formula E’s 84 races, helps both new and existing fans interact with the electric series through his old-school ‘red car, blue car’ commentary style.

“You don’t want to spoon feed people and make people feel patronised. But I think there are ways you can say things that explain, but also inform,” Nicholls believes.

“If I say, ‘there goes the black and gold DS Techeetah,’ I’m explaining to people who don’t know what it is, but I’m also just describing it in terms of, for example, ‘look at that blue sky.’”

“I think it is important to differentiate especially when we have a mixed-up field here, a lot of whom won’t be household names. It’s important to point out who’s who to the viewer, I also struggle to identify drivers in a team,” Nicholls adds.

Sitting next to Gillett in the International Gallery is Formula E’s television Executive Producer Mike Scott, who Gillett calls ‘invaluable’ to the production.

“We’ve worked together for 23 years now, and he’s calling each session,” Gillett says.

“He’s invaluable because he’s looking at the timing and scoring, seeing who’s magenta [fastest] in each sector, and then telling me that I can get to camera X in time to follow the car.”

Formula E ‘one step ahead’ in innovating

While some aspects of the production have their limitations, Formula E have also innovated their offering through Driver’s Eye, Attack Mode and their full-screen ‘wipes,’ helping their coverage to stand out.

“The [Driver’s Eye] technology works on an RF frequency, coming down one of our on-board lines to us. Over time, we’ve tried different lenses to see [the effect it would have].”

On-board via Driver’s Eye with Porsche’s Andre Lotterer during the Berlin E-Prix.

“We’ve tried some wide lenses, we’ve had some narrower ones, and now it’s got to point where we’ve found which is the right lens for us. We digitise the steering wheel because the teams don’t want us to broadcast it. It really does pop, particularly on low light,” Gillett explains.

“But, it’s a really immersive camera and it’s definitely something Formula E have done well.”

Gillett believes the championship is ‘one step ahead’ on the innovation front, citing the fact that Formula E innovations have since made their way into different championships, such as the driver replay wipes.

“I think the key thing to note is right from the beginning, Formula E have always been pushing the innovation, trying to be one step ahead. We led the way with broadcast graphics.”

“Like, the Safety Car [graphic], it takes over the whole screen, ‘there’s a Safety Car.’ Sometimes people miss the information, so we’ve made it really bold, very clear, and the design of it I think has definitely led the way,” Gillett believes.

“The driver replay wipes, this is something we introduced around four years ago. We’ve done green screens, we cut them all out, with a wipe for each person. It makes it so much simpler; you clearly know, the replay is going to be of Alex Lynn.”

“There is another championship now that’s adopted that, Formula 1, but that was led from Formula E. So, it’s the simple things like that we’ve introduced over the years and the design of it.”

Since Motorsport Broadcasting interviewed Gillett, Driver’s Eye has also made its way over to Formula 1. The camera, homologated by the FIA and manufactured by ZeroNoise, appeared during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

F1’s iteration featured no steering wheel digitisation, putting them ahead of their electric counterparts, something Formula E may wish to review with teams.

With fans returning to motor racing circuits worldwide, Gillett is keen to bring fans closer to the action, and from a broadcasting perspective looking to ‘amplify’ that relationship further as the championship heads into season 8.

“There’s always going to be new ideas, for example with the podiums and things like that. We introduced the sequence with the drivers coming through the crowds to the podium which I really liked.”

“I think that’s something that has been missing this last year and a bit now, and I think that in season 8, I’d like to really amplify that relationship between the drivers and the fans in some way.”

Coming up in part two of this feature, we look at how the ExCeL circuit evolved from concept, to reality.

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Scheduling: The 2021 Berlin E-Prix

18 drivers. 2 qualifying sessions. 2 races. 1 weekend. And 1 championship.

With 60 points still on offer, there are 18 drivers still in contention to become the first ever Formula E World Champion as the series heads to Berlin for a double-header finale.

From Nyck de Vries on top currently with 95 points, all the way down to Alex Sims in 18th on 44 points, any one of those could exit Berlin as champion

The chances of someone clawing back that margin are highly unlikely, but Formula E has proved this season that anything is possible.

Following Channel 4’s one-off deal for the London E-Prix, live coverage of the Tempelhof weekend airs across the BBC and Discovery.

The first race airs live on Discovery’s free-to-air station Quest, with BBC Two picking up coverage of the season finale on Sunday.

In addition, the BBC’s and Eurosport’s digital platforms, as well as Eurosport 2, will be covering the action from both races.

It is unclear if the BBC are providing bespoke wrap-around content from Salford, as they have done previously when races aired on BBC Two, or whether Formula E themselves are providing localised UK coverage, like they did in London for Channel 4.

Vernon Kay presents the English-language feed, alongside Nicki Shields, with Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti on commentary, the latter three having been part of Formula E’s content offering since the very first race in Beijing 2014.

Series organisers say that “over 40 broadcast and digital partners” will cover the season finale, with a “strengthened” free-to-air offering in place.

Outside of the UK, broadcasters including Sat.1 (Germany), L’Equipe (France), Channel 20 and Italia Uno (Italy), CBS Network (USA) and SABC Sport (South Africa) will be airing the E-Prix.

Saturday’s race takes place earlier than usual for a double-header, this to give organisers time to reverse the circuit layout ready for the season finale on Sunday.

Friday 13th August
15:55 to 16:55 – Practice 1 (YouTube)

Saturday 14th August
06:55 to 07:40 – Practice 2 (YouTube)
08:45 to 10:15 – Qualifying (YouTube / BBC Red Button / Eurosport 2)
12:30 to 14:30 – Race 1 (BBC Red Button / Quest / Eurosport 2)
=> Quest coverage runs from 13:00 to 14:30

Sunday 15th August
06:55 to 07:40 – Practice 1 (YouTube)
08:25 to 09:10 – Practice 2 (YouTube)
10:15 to 11:45 – Qualifying (YouTube / BBC Red Button / Eurosport 2)
14:00 to 16:00 – Race 2 (BBC Two / Eurosport 2)

Full scheduling details for the 2021 Berlin E-Prix. Scheduling details correct as of Saturday 7th August and are subject to change.

As always, if plans change, the article above will reflect the updated scheduling details.

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Over 2 million viewers watch F1’s first Sprint in UK

F1’s new look format, trialled over the British Grand Prix weekend, helped audience figures improve in the UK, consolidated data released by BARB suggests.

The Silverstone weekend was Channel 4’s only live action of the season, the broadcaster sharing live coverage with Sky Sports.

The consolidated data accounts for viewers who watched within seven days of the original transmission.

New format draws the viewers…

Usually, Friday plays host to two practice sessions.

However, only one practice session took place on Friday at Silverstone, with the traditional three-part qualifying session moving to Friday evening.

According to industry website Thinkbox, which publishes BARB consolidated data, 1.08 million viewers watched the qualifying session on Channel 4 from 17:00 to 19:30.

An additional 530,000 viewers watched on Sky Sports F1, across a shorter time slot from 17:25 to 19:30. A caveat here that Sky’s figure includes those that watched on devices, whereas Channel 4’s figure is for the TV set only.

Nevertheless, with a combined audience of 1.6 million viewers, the British Grand Prix marked F1’s highest UK audience on a Friday since at least 2003, if not earlier. Back then, ITV aired highlights of Friday qualifying in a late-night slot.

On Saturday, a combined audience of just over 2 million viewers watched Channel 4’s and Sky’s Sprint programming, including build-up and post-session analysis.

1.40 million watched the Sprint across all devices on Channel 4 from 15:45 to 17:40, with a further 610,000 viewers opting for Sky’s programming across a slightly longer time slot.

The figures are higher than what a normal three-part qualifying session would have achieved in its usual Saturday slot.

Initial analysis from Motorsport Broadcasting suggests that F1 may have recorded its highest Saturday audience for the British Grand Prix since 2013.

Race day saw an audience of around 3.6 million viewers watch Channel 4’s and Sky’s main programming, an average that includes the extended red flag period, but excludes the extended wraparound offering.

2.34 million viewers watched on Channel 4 from 14:26 to 17:07, with 1.21 million viewers watching on Sky Sports F1 from 14:53 to 17:35.

Year-on-year, Sky’s race audience increased by 15%, with Channel 4’s decreasing by around 8.5%, reflecting the positive trajectory Sky’s F1 audience figures continue to take.

Both broadcasters benefited from the Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collision, with 2 million viewers sticking around for the post-race programming until 18:30.

…what this means…

Although peak audiences are unavailable, we can use the average audience figures already in the public domain, along with programme lengths, to draw some conclusions.

Using the available data, it is likely that Friday’s qualifying session peaked with 2 million viewers, Saturday’s Sprint session with 3 million viewers, and Sunday’s race with 4.5 million viewers.

Having the weekend live on free-to-air television undoubtedly helps the audience figures, but even for Sky, the British qualifying session was their highest ever F1 audience for a Friday – including the plethora of evening practice sessions where they were the exclusive broadcaster.

In some ways, that is unsurprising, but it shows that fans tuned into the idea of having a meaningful session take place on a Friday evening.

Fans did not dismiss Friday qualifying, and instead felt that it was important part of the F1 weekend, and important enough to tune in to.

Whether the Sprint figures were higher than a typical Saturday because of the novelty of it remains unknown, and only something we will know when audience data for the Italian Grand Prix comes in next month.

But, arguably, the events of the Sprint contributed to what followed on Sunday from a sporting perspective.

Speaking to selected media, including The Race, on a conference call, F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali described the response to the Sprint as “really positive”.

“After the first sprint event at Silverstone, the response that we have from the drivers, from the teams, the media, has been really positive, and also for the promoter,” said Domenicali, as quoted by The Race.

“The outcome of the first event has been dramatically positive. It’s great because that brought attention, interest on TV, and also partners. We have already seen the financial interest be positive.”

The audience data for the weekend, which F1 is no doubt digesting, backs up Domenicali’s statement.

…as W Series beats Formula E

But, Formula 1 was not the only beneficiary of the revised schedule.

The W Series race normally takes place after F1’s qualifying session. For Britain, the race remained on the Saturday, but aired in between F1’s single practice session, and before the Sprint.

An impressive average of 533,000 viewers watched on Channel 4 from 13:05 to 14:17, a figure which excludes those who watched on other devices.

Now in its second season, the all-female championship, retained around 66% of the F1 practice audience. The F1 session, which began at 12:00 UK time, averaged around 800,000 viewers across Channel 4 and Sky.

A week after the Grand Prix, Formula E’s London outing aired live on Channel 4 across the weekend of July 24th and 25th with a double header event.

The electric series reached a high of 382,000 viewers from 13:51 to 15:12 for its second race of the weekend, again excluding the ‘other device’ watchers.

The audience figures demonstrate how W Series benefited from being on the same card as Formula 1, whereas Formula E’s events are largely standalone with no wrap-around support.

W Series also benefited from added exposure through Channel 4’s live F1 coverage, the only weekend of the year that the free-to-air broadcaster covers F1 live.

Moving forward, W Series will not have the luxury of an F1 lead-in on the same channel.

In addition, Formula E faced the opening weekend of the Olympics across the BBC, which took attention away from the E-Prix. In that context, the Formula E figure is good given the lack of support the series has received from free-to-air stations in recent years.

Most importantly, The Race notes that Formula E “surpassed the expectations of the C4 management team,” which bodes well for a future rights deal between the two parties.

Motorsport Broadcasting will publish a full analytical piece looking at the UK F1 audience picture at the half way stage of the 2021 season shortly.

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Reflections from Formula E’s return to London

Formula E made its return to London last weekend after five years away from the UK.

Instead of racing around the Battersea Park vicinity, the event moved east, racing in and out of the ExCeL Centre in the Docklands.

Jake Dennis claimed victory in the first of two races of the weekend on Saturday, with Alex Lynn clinching his first Formula E victory on Sunday.

Motorsport Broadcasting was on hand to witness events throughout the weekend, from Friday morning through to Sunday evening, and here are some early reflections…

The on-boarding process

Normally, the on-boarding process heading into an event, at least in pre-COVID times, is simply a case of picking up your media accreditation from a designated place, and then making tracks towards the media centre. Not so here.

After picking up my accreditation, this time it was straight to my PCR appointment, because without a negative PCR test, I was not getting inside the ExCeL, a protocol that applied to anyone inside the Formula E bubble.

Those on-site for more than three days had to be PCR tested every other day (so, if you were on-site from Thursday to Sunday, you needed to be PCR tested on Thursday and Saturday).

From PCR, I went into isolation until I received the negative PCR result around three hours later. The PCR test did bring with it some anxiety from my perspective, as I tested positive for COVID three weeks ago – symptoms long gone thankfully.

The London E-Prix was also my first event since WEC at Silverstone in 2019, so I was mightily relieved to receive a negative result!

The whole testing process was efficient, and the wait for the result was not too long (I finished drafting this piece while I waited back at the hotel).

Within the ExCeL and the media centre, face masks were mandatory. Most of the time, people were socially distanced, although as pointed out elsewhere, the starting grid was more than a little congested.

Which begs the valid question: if Formula E allowed influencers, VIPs, and media into the event, why were fans not allowed?

The Race reports that Formula E needed special dispensation from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to stage the event at full capacity, and this was not forthcoming.

An interactive map of vaccinations helps explain the local context. In the Custom House area, where the ExCeL is located, only 56.9% of people have had their first vaccine, this figure dropping to 39.4% for both vaccines. The picture in the surrounding boroughs is also bleak.

The original planning application suggests that 30,000 spectators would normally attend, with around 2,500 of them hospitality.

Circuit layout

Another interesting aspect to the planning application is that it allows Formula E to stage races at the ExCeL until the end of 2029, giving them time to refine the layout.

Aside from the double hairpin set-up, which turned into bumper cars during the second race, the rest of the circuit looked fine.

I hope the double hairpin solution disappears, preferably in favour of a right-left chicane. For me, the inelegant solution ruined the flow of the track and ended up breaking up groups of cars during the race as battles unfolded.

One observer on-site noted that the weekend had a ‘test event’ feel, so hopefully Formula E refines the layout for next year’s outing.

On the inside, the pit lane, paddock complex and turns 22, 1, 2 and 3 were all located on the South side of the building, with the TV compound located on the North side.

The South side of the building was largely perfect, but the TV compound was much more spaced out than usual, not that the team were complaining!

It did highlight though how Formula E did not utilise all the hall space, something I hope changes next year when fans are in attendance.

Visibility and perception remain a problem for Formula E

On Sunday morning, I asked my Twitter followers whether they had followed Saturday’s race.

Bear in mind that, if you are following Motorsport Broadcasting on the socials, you are likely big into motor sport, whether that be F1, MotoGP or IndyCar, and likely will have a good idea of when things are happening.

Did you watch the first Formula E race of the weekend on Saturday? [665 votes]
Yes – 42.7% [284 votes]
No – did not know it was on – 13.2% [88 votes]
No – not interested – 28.3% [188 votes]
No – other reason – 15.8% [105 votes]

Like any poll, the results are a snapshot of what a given subset of the population is thinking. The results highlight two key problems that Formula E has: visibility and perception.

Outside of the Formula E circle, a cursory glance at the #LondonEPrix hashtag on Twitter showed little activity outside of the usual fan accounts.

Formula E had several things against it last weekend, notably the Olympics. However, the bigger issue that I have is that the event immediately followed F1’s British Grand Prix.

If you are a non-motor sport outlet, and have a choice of covering Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s collision from Silverstone or Formula E in the mid-week articles, the decision is an easy one to make.

Arguably, organisers should position the race away from F1 in the British sporting calendar, potentially in the Early May Bank Holiday slot leading into the Monaco E-Prix.

I appreciate that there is never a weekend with no sporting opposition, but following the F1 means Formula E is fighting for the same column inches, which is not the position it wants to be in.

Commenters on Twitter noted that promotion was poor, which tallies with what I saw in the build-up to the E-Prix from Channel 4.

The races over the weekend started at 15:00 and 14:00 local time respectively, whereas the agreement between Formula E and the local council allows track action until 18:30, so there is scope to adjust timings to allow for an early evening race.

I am in the camp where I really want to see the electric series grow at home, but it has perception and visibility issues that organisers need to navigate.

Hopefully a regular visit to the ExCeL, in addition to some tweaks to the track layout and fans from next season, will help increase the championship’s profile and reach in the UK.

Attack Mode graphic change here to stay

Fans watching the E-Prix from home will have noticed that the Attack Mode graphic on the timing wall changed for last weekend’s action.

Gone are the chevrons, and in its place, is a simple timer, with the driver’s name highlighted on the timing wall.

Speaking to Motorsport Broadcasting, Formula E’s TV director West Gillett noted that the team has changed the graphic to “make it clearer for the viewers,” and that the change is a permanent one moving forward.

Keep an eye on this site over the forthcoming weeks for more insight from Gillett and the Formula E television team: how the championship gets to air, the infrastructure used, Driver’s Eye, and much more…

On a final note, a huge thank you to everyone within Formula E for their kind words about this site over the weekend, it really is appreciated (more in the Twitter image above).

Updated on July 27th with information about the special dispensation needed to allow fans to attend.

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Channel 4 to air Formula E’s return to London

Channel 4 will air live coverage of Formula E’s return to London later in July, series organisers have confirmed.

It will be the first time that the free-to-air broadcaster has aired Formula E live. As thus, Formula E has now aired on all four of the main free-to-air outlets in the UK, following in the footsteps of the BBC, ITV and Channel 5.

Formula E says that Channel 4 will air ‘bespoke programmes’ presented by Vernon Kay. Produced by North One, the trio of Nicki Shields, Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti join Kay from the ExCeL London.

The move comes as neither the BBC or Eurosport will be airing the London races live on any of their television channels due to the Olympics from Tokyo.

However, neither Quest or BBC Two are options for Formula E over the London weekend, as Quest are airing live British Superbikes coverage from Brands Hatch, whilst BBC Two are covering cricket’s new experiment called The Hundred.

Without their deal with Channel 4, Formula E would be left without a live linear TV home for their biggest race from a UK perspective. Channel 4’s deal only covers the race, and not practice or qualifying, and is for the London round only.

Sam Bird, who races for Jaguar and currently leads the championship, said “It is great news for Formula E to be shown live on Channel 4 for such a key race on the world championship calendar.”

Channel 4’s Formula E schedule
Saturday 24th July
14:00 to 16:30 – Race 1
=> 14:00 – Build-Up
=> 14:30 – Race
=> 16:00 – Reaction

Sunday 25th July
13:30 to 15:30 – Race 2
=> 13:30 – Build-Up
=> 13:40 – Race
=> 15:00– Reaction

“This is the first time in five years we’ve raced in London – the first time in 17 years for Jaguar – and terrestrial TV plays a key role to put our sport into the homes across the UK at a milestone moment.”

Formula E’s chief media officer Aarti Dabas added “We are pleased to add Channel 4 to our ever-growing line-up of media partners. UK is a key market for Formula E’s ecosystem of teams, manufacturers, partners and drivers.”

“More importantly we wanted to provide our growing UK fanbase and potential new fans with easy access to watch and engage with the live coverage of their home races.”

“Channel 4 is one of UK’s most progressive free-to-air channels and this partnership for the London races provides both Formula E and Channel 4 to engage with progressive motorsports fans and new audiences.”

A look into the future?

The move by Formula E to partner with Channel 4 is likely to increase suggestions that Channel 4 is front runner to air the series for the 2021-22 season, as the existing BBC and Eurosport rights agreements expire at the end of this season.

While the BBC has given Formula E a free-to-air home over the past few years, it is clear that the partnership has not matured in the way that Formula E had hoped.

Over the past few years, the BBC has aired several Formula E races live on BBC Two, the last being the Rome E-Prix back in April. But this has happened inconsistently, with the corporation not committing to more races on linear television.

Formula E in the UK – at a glance
2014-15 – ITV
2015-16 – ITV
2016-17 – Channel 5
2017-18 – Channel 5, Eurosport
2018-19 – BBC, BT Sport, Eurosport, Quest
2019-20 – BBC, Eurosport, Quest
2020-21 – BBC, Eurosport, Quest
2020-21 [London only] – BBC, Channel 4, Eurosport

Elsewhere in the sporting spectrum, the British Olympic athletics trials did not air on the BBC last month after the broadcaster refused to pay for the rights or air it on their linear channels, leading to UK Athletics streaming the action on their own platforms to a much smaller audience.

The fact of the matter is, unless you are a tier 1 sport (which Formula E acknowledges that they are not), then it is highly unlikely that the BBC are willing to air the sport in question on BBC One or BBC Two, unless there is strong justification to do so.

Dabas’s comments to Motorsport Broadcasting last week, combined with the one-off Channel 4 deal, would suggest that, unless the situation changes, Formula E does not have a long-term future on the BBC.

For now, fans can watch live coverage of the London E-Prix weekend on Channel 4, as well as the BBC’s, Eurosport’s and Formula E’s digital platforms.

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