Facebook’s Oculus shared with us that, of the people who actually use their Gear VRs on a daily basis, 80 percent use it to watch video. Samsung shared that 5 million Gear VRs have been sold so far, but many were given as freebies with the purchase of a phone and it is unclear how many remain in use. The point being that broadcasting the finals of the NCAA March Madness tournament fits perfectly with the interests of the Gear VR’s biggest users, and might just be the thing to make some people dust off their headsets and dive back in.
NCAA March Madness Live VR is available for Gear VR with tickets offered in two tiers, $2 or $3 per game. The $2 ticket buys a “single-camera courtside view with featured commentary from the CBS broadcast,” according to Oculus, while the $3 ticket “lets fans watch fully produced VR coverage with multiple camera angles and dedicated game commentary specific to the VR experience.” There are a total of six games being broadcast in the app, with an $8 option granting the multiple camera access to all the games. Here are the six games:
- March 23—Regional Semi-Final Games in San Jose featuring Gonzaga versus West Virgina and Xavier versus Arizona
- March 25—Regional Finals in San Jose
- April 1—Both Final Four Match-Ups in Phoenix
- April 3—Championship Game in Phoenix
This is the second year of the partnership between Oculus, the NCAA, which also teamed with Turner Sports and Intel for this production. This year, “you can choose your team and customize your locker room in their colors—complete with your MVP’s jersey on display.” There are four-minute free previews of the games as well leading up to the Final Four. There’s also a bracket view to track teams, replays/highlights and a “virtual shot chart that lets you experience the action as the teams take it to the hole in VR.”