MLB, NTT Technology Partnership Lays Foundation for Next-Gen Fan Experience

NTT today became the first Japan-based information technology company to be named an official partner of Major League Baseball (MLB) as it is now the title sponsor of the MLB Network Ballpark Cam as well as Official MLB Fan Experience Partner for Ultra Reality Viewing. It’s the latter that holds some promise for fans as it can provide a more immersive viewing experience that takes virtual reality to the next level.

Ultra Reality Viewing is NTT’s real-time super high-definition surround video synthesis technology that combines multiple 4K camera images into a super-wide image such as 12K in real-time and transmits them synchronously to remote locations. MLB plans to test the system at an Arizona Fall League game to be held at Salt River Fields and, if all goes well, deploy it during a playoff game in October.

“We’re excited NTT has committed to building an expanded baseball technology portfolio and we eagerly anticipate what the partnership will deliver for clubs and fans,” says MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “Sharing, and executing on, a vision to leverage advanced technologies to benefit baseball fans will serve as the foundation for how our NTT partnership will explore and experiment with unique ways to create new baseball experiences.”

Jun Sawada, President and CEO, NTT Corporation, says that NTT has successfully deployed the technology in Japan for soccer coverage.

“Technological innovations have the potential to change sport and fan experience drastically. Based on our heritage of innovation and successful implementation experience, we will contribute to MLB’s success by creating a new fan experience with our unique Ultra Reality Viewing technology. Through this partnership, NTT aims to establish the valuable technology solution that brings Smart Sports to life.”