NextVR is aiming to take the virtual reality broadcasting world by storm. The company, which already announced a multi-production partnership with FOX Sports that kicked off with the Daytona 500 live streamed in VR, is now ready to announce the next major sporting event to get the immersive treatment: NCAA College Basketball.
That’s right folks. Step right up because for the first time ever, the NCAA March Madness tournament will be viewable live in virtual reality.
The VR streams will not be available for every game, however. According to a representative for NextVR, the company will be focusing solely on the Big East Tournament being held at Madison Square Garden. The company will broadcast four games on March 10, two games on March 11, and will ultimately bring that series’ championship matchup to viewers on March 12. These broadcasts will be available through the NextVR app on the Samsung Gear VR headset.
A representative for NextVR explained via email just how immersive and powerful his company’s VR broadcast will be:
“As a fan, VR can make you feel as if you are at the game. We are putting the fan at the event in a front row seat, even in a seat you couldn’t buy … You’ll feel as if you’re sitting in court-side seats. TV can provide great views of course, but they can’t provide the immersive experience VR brings.”
We asked the NextVR rep why more games won’t be shown in VR:
“Seven games is pretty good! In fact, it’s our most expansive push for a single event so far. Three days of college hoops played with the drama and emotion of a one-and-done tournament.”
Pricing for the experience was confirmed by this same representative to be completely free to all viewers with the necessary hardware to access it.
“The Big East tourney will be free to a world-wide audience through the FOX Sports Section on the NextVR portal. Samsung Gear VR owners can download the NextVR app on any Gear VR headset compatible phones. For detailed instructions, go to www.nextvr.com/gearvr-live.”
This is only the second event from these two companies who have promised many VR broadcasts. NextVR is choosing to stay quiet on exactly what form future productions may take but they do advise those interested to “Stay tuned for more announcements on major sports events.”