Fox Sports, LiveLike Team Up To Deliver Big East Men’s Hoops Tourney in VR

The four-camera effort marks the partners’ latest VR production, following last month’s Super Bowl LI highlight package

Fox Sports is teaming up with live-VR production outfit LiveLike to deliver the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament in virtual reality through the Fox  Sports VR app, beginning with four quarterfinal games on Thursday March 9. The four-camera effort marks the latest VR production by Fox Sports (through its Fox Sports Lab initiative) and LiveLike, which teamed up to deliver a first-of-its-kind Super Bowl VR highlights package last month at Super Bowl LI in Houston. Fox Sports partnered with NextVR last year to produce the Big East tournament in virtual reality, but this marks LiveLike’s first show at the Madison Square Garden-based tournament. 

bigeast_2017The production will feature user-selected views, with two basket and two foul-line cameras as well as original 360-degree tournament content, all managed from the Fox Sports VR app’s Virtual Suite. There also will be a live “director’s cut,” which automatically moves viewer’s vantage points around the court to keep them on top of the action. After the game, viewers can tune in and watch a tournament-highlight package, which allows users to view replays from multiple vantage points. 

“This blend of virtual reality provides the promise of the second screen in a way that has not been delivered before,” says Michael Davies, SVP, field and technical operations, Fox Sports. “With the ongoing refinement of virtual reality and support from Jeep, Fox Sports now offers a unique blend of presence and interactivity that has not been available previously.”

The Fox Sports VR app can be enjoyed without special “glasses” through the interactive, 360-degree viewing experience built specifically for iOS and Android devices or with a Gear VR or cardboard headset. Fans can access the Big East Tournament VR experience by downloading and installing the app and signing in with their television-provider credentials.

Fox Sports and LiveLike continue to work together across multiple sports, including soccer and college football, as part the ongoing Fox Sports Lab directive, a designed approach to exploring technical partnerships that give viewers a fresh perspective and ad-sales teams more-targeted sports integrations.

“We’re thrilled to give every college-basketball fan the opportunity to sit at virtual courtside at Madison Square Garden, where, year in, year out, the Big East Tournament provides some of the most entertaining basketball of the season,” says Miheer Walavalkar, co-founder/chief business officer, LiveLike.

Since January 2016, Fox Sports has delivered a wide variety of sports offerings in virtual reality, including NASCAR’s Daytona 500 (2016), Premier Boxing Champions title fights (2016, 2017), the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament (2016, 2017), the U.S. Open Golf Championship (2016), the Bundesliga season opener (2016), the MLS Cup (2016), and multiple college football games, including the Big Ten Football Championship (2016).

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