Fox Sports North To Stream Live VR Content From Hockey Day Minnesota
Effort marks the first time Fox Sports has produced hockey in VR at any level
On Saturday, Minneapolis-based RSN Fox Sports North will celebrate its 12th-annual Hockey Day Minnesota. Looking to do something special for the occasion, the network will blaze some trails in virtual reality, offering live three-camera VR coverage of three games throughout the day.
It will be the first time that Fox Sports produces hockey in VR and is a rare occurrence where an RSN is in the mix on the VR front.
“Hockey Day Minnesota is our biggest event of the year, and, with the addition of VR, we are taking the production to a new level,” says Mike Dimond, SVP/GM, Fox Sports North. “The multiple camera angles and 180-degree views from the team benches at the outdoor rink will provide a truly unique experience for our viewers, allowing them to experience Hockey Day from the comfort of their own couch.”
Fox Sports North will work alongside Fox Sports partner LiveLike, which has handled several Fox VR shows, including last year’s Notre Dame-Michigan State football game, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament, and Super Bowl 51.
The VR camera rigs are expected to be placed at the center line between the benches and behind each goal. Each angle will offer a 180-degree view of the action, which will be embedded in a suite environment that has become the go-to presentation design in the Fox Sports VR app.
To provide a view where viewers can clearly see the puck, images are expected to be captured in 4K at 60 fps.
“It helps build upon what we’re doing with the Fox Sports VR app, so we’re really excited that the regionals are diving into VR production,” says Michael Davies, SVP, field operations, Fox Sports. “To see how this takes on a localized level is something that we’re interested in.”
The live-VR schedule features a high school boys game between St. Cloud and St. Cloud Cathedral at 10 a.m. CT, a college women’s game between St. Cloud State and University of Minnesota Duluth at 1 p.m., and a high school boys game between Moorhead and Centennial at 4:30 p.m.
A headset is not required to view the content, which will be available on the Fox Sports VR app via traditional authentication methods.