NBA, Meta Extend VR Deal as League Taps into Meta Horizon Worlds
The world of VR sports consumption got a big lift today with the news that the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Meta have extended their partnership via a new multiyear deal will feature a new virtual reality experience for fans through Meta Horizon Worlds via Meta Quest, the official VR headset of the NBA and WNBA.
Meta Horizon Worlds is a free app that can be experienced on your Meta Quest headset. Last year the NBA launched NBA Lane in Horizon Worlds, offering a free throw shootout, low-gravity dunk contest, and more. This new team adds the NBA Arena experience, featuring live NBA League Pass games in virtual reality throughout the season.
“Our extended partnership with Meta will provide more immersive and innovative ways to experience the NBA,” says Jennifer Chun, NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Content Partnerships. “Meta’s digital world opens up exciting possibilities for NBA fans to virtually attend our games and to interact with other fans around the world.”
The NBA and Meta will bring 52 live NBA League Pass games, including five immersive 180-degree monoscopic live VR games in 2880 resolution, in “NBA Arena” in Meta Horizon Worlds. Fans can visit the NBA Arena in Meta Horizon Worlds to watch NBA content with friends, compete in interactive mini-games and cheer on their favorite teams.
Additionally, existing NBA League Pass subscribers will be able to access their subscription in YBVR’s Xtadium app within Meta Quest VR in the coming weeks. Fans will then be able to sit in a “virtual” courtside seat to watch live NBA League Pass games and host private watch parties with friends. Live WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League games will also be available via a Meta Quest headset.
The game schedule for the NBA Arena through next Tuesday includes:
Monday, Jan. 23: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons – 7 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Jan. 24: Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans – 8 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Jan. 25: Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks – 8 p.m. ET
Friday, Jan. 27: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – 8 p.m. ET
Sunday, Jan. 29: LA Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Jan. 31: Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7 p.m. ET
The partnership extension will also include the launch of NBA-licensed apparel in the Meta Avatars Store and authenticated NBA League Pass access in Xtadium, a VR sports hub app that offers shared watching experiences in high-definition.
“Meta’s immersive VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage and interact with their favorite NBA teams,” says Meta Director of Sports Media and League Partnerships Rob Shaw. “The NBA is always pushing us to innovate and leverage the latest technology to open the door to new fan experiences, and this chapter of our partnership achieves exactly that.”
As part of the partnership extension, NBA-licensed apparel will be available in the Meta Avatars Store soon. Fans will be able to purchase their favorite NBA or WNBA team apparel for their Meta Avatar and showcase it across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and on the Meta Quest.
Meta will also have a presence at major NBA and WNBA events to showcase Meta Quest technology to NBA fans. You can find the full VR game schedule at NBA.com.