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FormulaE has taken remote production in the cloud  to the next level

In partnership with Mimir, Roku, Aurora Media, and Gravity Media, Formula E has developed a remote production workflow for high-quality motor-racing broadcasts using public internet and cloud-based solutions - including live transmission, proxy-based editing, and VOD delivery.  Simultaneously improving sustainability, speed, and quality. 



Formula E's vision was to create thrilling, globally accessible motorsport that was sustainable. By embracing electric vehicles, they aimed to push the boundaries of what's possible in racing while promoting environmental responsibility. The challenge was to deliver an engaging, high-quality broadcast that matched the excitement of traditional motorsports, to deliver it fast and to deliver it from anywhere in the world – without the carbon footprint. 


Partners without grime

Formula E partnered with Mimir, Roku, Aurora Media, and Gravity Media to realize this vision, each bringing unique expertise and technological advancements to the table

  • Mimir: By managing all their video assets in the cloud and with an end-to-end cloud-native proxy workflow, Formula E could access their assets remotely, saving bandwidth and time: ingesting, editing, and managing video from anywhere in the world. 
  • Roku: Leveraging Roku's streaming platform, Formula E could reach a global audience with seamless, high-definition broadcasts. Roku's advanced analytics provided valuable insights into viewer engagement, allowing for real-time content optimization.
  • Aurora Media: Known for its cutting-edge broadcast solutions, Aurora Media played a crucial role in capturing the high-speed action of Formula E. Their innovative use of drones, onboard cameras, and augmented reality (AR) overlays brought viewers closer to the race than ever before.
  • Gravity Media: Gravity Media's expertise in live production ensured that every race was broadcast flawlessly. They managed the complex logistics of live broadcasting from diverse global locations, maintaining consistent quality and reliability.

FES9T01_073948_V6A4480-2048x2048Sam Bloxham

Formula E is the world's first fully electric racing series and the first ever net zero sport from the start. For seasons 9 and 10, the team took their core value of sustainability to another level by going almost entirely remote for both production and asset workflows. A minimal team on-site works to set up the local end of the production, where Aurora produces a track cut on-site - anywhere in the world - fed back via a global fiber network to Gravity Media's purpose-built production facility. There, Aurora and Gravity Media master the show. This is a highly complex operation, with elements that have been thought previously impossible, using the public internet.

For the movement of assets and remote editing, Mimir's end-to-end proxy workflow in the cloud-enabled all work on video files to be done on proxies that are often 50-100x smaller than the hi-res assets. At the same time, they are ingested from anywhere to the cloud. This means that highlights and VOD can be delivered in minutes instead of hours or days. Furthermore, automated workflows were implemented with Mimir to take the final delivery of VOD to platforms from a complex process to clicking a single button, getting content from the edit-suite to the set-top box without user intervention.

EPS1001_134747SMG_0804-2048x2048Simon Galloway

Technical hair-pin turns to execute

Creating a captivating broadcast for all-electric motorsport came with its unique challenges. The primary technical hurdles included but were certainly not limited to:

  1. Real-Time Data Integration: Formula E cars generate vast amounts of data, from battery status to performance metrics. Integrating this data into the live broadcast required sophisticated data management and visualization tools.
  2. Broadcasting from Urban Locations: Formula E races occur in city centers, presenting logistical challenges for broadcasting. Ensuring stable connectivity and minimal disruption to the urban environment was paramount.
  3. Engagement and Interactivity: Enhancing viewer engagement through interactive features was essential to differentiate Formula E from traditional motorsports. This included live polls, social media integration, and real-time telemetry displays.

EPS1010_142138DSC_5719-2048x2048Simon Galloway

Pole position achievements

  1. Remote Production and Asset Workflow:
    • Implement an end-to-end cloud-native proxy workflow for video assets.
    • Remote editing capabilities allow global access to growing file proxies as they are uploaded to the cloud.
    • Significant reductions in content delivery times, enabling near-instantaneous video-on-demand (VOD) content availability.
  2. Scalable Cloud Infrastructure:
    • Utilize a scalable cloud backend to manage the variable demands of race days and off-peak periods.
    • The infrastructure supports substantial computing and bandwidth, ensuring seamless broadcast quality.
  3. Live Broadcasting Innovations:
    • Integration of 220 on-board cameras (OBC) and 92 live cameras across 16 races in 12 countries.
    • Management of approximately 90 video and 300 audio feeds to produce international broadcasts with minimal latency.
    • Use of advanced analytics and real-time graphics for enhanced viewer engagement.
  4. Sustainability and Efficiency:
    • Reduction of carbon footprint by up to 50% through remote production.
    • Decrease in freight by 40%, space requirements by 35%, and on-site personnel by 25%.
    • Adoption of renewable energy sources and eco-friendly practices in broadcasting operations.




The challenge, quantified

  • 16 races per year
  • 12 countries
  • 5 production companies
  • 1.2PB of archive footage
  • 21 edit suites
  • 220 OBC cameras
  • 92 live cameras
  • 300 audio channels
  • 8 EVS positions

Finish line wins

  • Efficiency: Cloud-based workflows and proxy editing reduced the need for physical media transfers, speeding up production.
  • Scalability: The system's ability to scale up during peak times and down during off-peak periods maximized resource efficiency.
  • Sustainability: Significant reductions in carbon footprint and resource usage aligned with Formula E's commitment to environmental responsibility.

Real green gains – in numbers:

  • An overall carbon footprint reduction of up to 50%. 
  • Freight was reduced by 40%. 
  • Overall, the space needed (for the broadcast team) was reduced by 35%. 
  • Reduction of 25% fewer people on site.
  • Significant reduction in the amount of computing: By moving to a cloud infrastructure, CPU power can be scaled up and down as needed rather than constantly on hand in a private server park.

Formula E’s innovative approach to broadcasting, enabled by the collaboration with Mimir, Roku, Aurora Media, and Gravity Media, represents a significant advancement in sustainable and efficient media production. The successful implementation of remote production and cloud-based workflows met the high demands of live motor-racing broadcasts and set new standards for the industry. 


EPS1010_151426SMG_8953-2048x2048Simon Galloway


Images and video courtesy of FormulaE.