NBA Digital to Offer One Live Game Per Week In Virtual Reality with NextVR
First broadcast on Oct. 27 will be available as a free preview
NBA Digital is making one of the deepest commitments to virtual reality that the industry has seen to this point. Partnering with NextVR, the league will live stream at least one NBA LEAGUE PASS game per week in VR during the 2016-17 season. This is the first time that a professional sports league has dedicated itself to a regular schedule of live VR productions.
According to an official release from the league, the VR broadcasts will be fully produced with dedicated announcers, multiple camera angles from unmanned cameras, and graphics optimized for the VR space. Breaks in the action will show in-venue entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage from the arena, and VR-specific commentary.
The NBA will open the first VR game to the public [Sacramento Kings-San Antonio Spurts on Oct. 27] but the remainder of the season will be a part of the NBA LEAGUE PASS full season package.
Those will a Samsung Gear VR headset and a compatible Samsung smartphone can access the VR content on the NBA Channel within the NextVR app, which is available for download in the Oculus Home app store. The league expects to expand support to additional headsets and devices throughout the season.
The NBA plans to announce the full schedule of VR games later this month. As part of this multiyear partnership, NextVR becomes the “Official LEAGUE PASS VR Partner of the NBA.” NBA LEAGUE PASS is part of NBA Digital, the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.