Inaugural XE event boasts over 18 million viewers worldwide

The inaugural round of the Extreme E all-electric off-road racing championship in Saudi Arabia earlier this year clocked a cumulative worldwide broadcast audience of 18.7 million.

Inaugural XE event boasts over 18 million viewers worldwide

Figures released by the series, with the data collected by research company YouGov Sport, report that 1500 hours of coverage of the Desert X-Prix in AlUla was registered in 180 countries.

China clocked the biggest audience share “closely followed by Europe and Asia” for a total viewership of 18.7 million.

In the UK, television rights were shared by ITV1, Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC Red Button and online services.

Extreme E chief marketing officer Ali Russell said: “These numbers demonstrate the massive appeal, not only of our racing format, but also our wider messages around the climate crisis, both of which featured heavily in our broadcast.

“As a sport without spectators on site, these figures are fantastic as they show our broadcast only model really does work to engage people on so many levels, whether that be through broadcast, social or press.

“We are looking forward to building on these statistics as we continue through [the first season] and bringing the messages of our series around environment, electrification and equality to as many people as possible.”

The YouGov Sport report also recorded more than 5000 online articles published around the event for a total readership of 1.6 billion, with the UK attracting the biggest share.

Cristina Gutierrez, Sebastien Loeb, X44 Molly Taylor, Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing and Catie Munnings, Timmy Hansen, Andretti United Extreme E

Cristina Gutierrez, Sebastien Loeb, X44 Molly Taylor, Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg X Racing and Catie Munnings, Timmy Hansen, Andretti United Extreme E

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

YouGov Sport managing director Frank Saez added: “For a first-time event, these figures are incredibly promising and show that Extreme E has tapped into something that looks to have real potential for growth.

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"When we watched the event, what leapt out immediately was the shareable content it would produce - and that’s exactly what the data has shown."

Extreme E co-founder Alejandro Agag announced following the first Formula E race in Beijing in 2014 that the electric single-seater debut has scored an audience of 40 million.

But on site in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, the Spaniard dismissed those initial numbers and admitted he had been caught up in events and had made up the numbers.

Formula E last released TV figures in 2019 off the back of the first season of the Gen2 car.

It recorded an audience of 411 million from 13 races, giving each event an average of 31.6 million viewers.

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