NBA and NextVR Offer Basketball Fans One Game Per Week in VR
Starting later this month, basketball fans can get a view of their favorite sport that they've likely never seen. The NBA and NextVR announced they'll work together to offer at least one game per week in virtual reality for the rest of the season. The first VR game will be the Sacramento Kings-San Antonio Spurs match on October 27, and it will be freely available. The companies will offer the full VR schedule later this month, promising over 25 games in all.
After the Kings-Spurs game, watching the VR will require an NBA League Pass subscription (the package sells for $200). At the start, viewers will need to use a Samsung Gear VR headset to view the content, although support for other headsets will come later in the season. Viewers will only be able to watch out-of-market games.
Viewers will see a variety of viewpoints from the arena, including center court, high in the stands, and behind the backboard. Producers will manage the transitions between cameras. Viewers will also see the entertainment presented during game breaks and behind-the-scenes video.
This isn't the NBA's first experiment with VR, as is streamed last year's season opener in the format. This time around the VR content will be more produced. It will be interesting to see if VR makes game viewing more compelling or if it gets in the way of following the action.
The development league will use Dailymotion's player to share clips across its sites, but the agreement does not include any live game streaming.
Social platforms Facebook and Instagram are turning out huge views for sports broadcasters, but the broadcasters aren't getting much info in return. Look for that to change.
Publishers can quickly create cost-effective VR apps and experiences, then play them on desktop computers or mobile devices.
Go90 viewers will soon be able to watch daily NBA highlights and some exclusive content, and purchase access out-of-market games.
NBA.com is streaming live video of training camps from the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Wizards.
Wed., Sept. 30, by Tim Siglin