Extreme E adds Sky Sports to UK broadcast mix

Pay-TV network picks up non-exclusive rights to all five of series’ races.

by Tom Bassam

Extreme E adds Sky Sports to UK broadcast mix
  • Sky Sports F1 expected to carry Extreme E race broadcasts
  • BBC to also stream all-electric off-road SUV series

Extreme E has secured a one-year deal with UK pay-TV network Sky Sports to have the all-electric off-road SUV series broadcast live in the UK and Ireland in 2021.

Set to make its debut with a desert race in Saudi Arabia in early April, Extreme E will see the rest of its X-Prix in Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Argentina all aired live on Sky Sports. It is thought Sky Sports F1 – the channel dedicated Formula One – will carry Extreme E as it has aired live IndyCar and GT World Challenge Europe events in recent years.

The Extreme E package also includes highlights, previews and reviews plus a magazine-style show, with the latter reportedly focusing on topics such as equality, electrification and environmental sustainability.

The deal expands Extreme E’s broadcast distribution in the UK, with the BBC public service broadcaster also carrying the series. That rights deal is predominantly for digital broadcast, but with the possibility of expanding onto linear channels.

According to Autosport, the Extreme E live coverage will be produced in-house by the series, which the BBC and Sky Sports can both broadcast as part of non-exclusive rights deals.

Extreme E chief marketing officer, Ali Russell, said: "Sky Sports is one of the leading sports broadcasters in the world and I'm delighted it will show Extreme E.

"The UK and Ireland has a huge appetite for motorsport and with the help of Sky Sports, we will reach a massive audience through this partnership."

For Sky the deal also helps with its bid to present itself as a sustainable broadcaster. The network’s Zero programme has set a target for the Comcast-owned company to be net-zero carbon by 2030, which will include its studios being powered by renewable energy sources and building sustainable offices.

Russell added: "Our collaboration is about a lot more than airing exciting racing, as we share a common mission around the environment, it is fantastic to see the great work Sky is doing around its business practices and investments to protect our planet.

"Through our shows we will highlight the climate crisis and what we as a championship is doing to help, and how everyone can make a difference."