The advancement of technology has turned a lot of things unimaginable in the past become reality. Now, the NBA is taking a huge step in allowing its fans to watch games in a whole new different way.
On Thursday, an announcement was made by NBA Digital that it will broadcast one game per week in Virtual Reality. This will make it possible for the viewer to see the game in 360-degrees if they have the right equipment installed. Per Jonathan Vanian of Fortune.com:
“NBA Digital, a joint venture between Turner Sports and the NBA that manages the league’s online properties, said that it will broadcast one basketball game a week that viewers can watch in 360 degrees. The first custom broadcast will debut October 27 when the Sacramento Kings play against the San Antonio Spurs. During the broadcast, the NBA will stream the game in 180-degrees, in which viewers can turn their heads to follow the action, while a graphical display of the game’s statistics will be streamed in another 180-degrees to accompany the broadcast.”
The NBA has partnered with NextVR and will have dedicated announcers and commentators for the VR broadcasts. In order to enjoy this, viewers need to subscribe to NBA League Pass and must have, and limited to, a Samsung Gear VR headset, and Samsung smartphone.
The game next Thursday will mark a milestone in the league’s broadcasting as it will be the first time in history it can be seen in 180-degrees. NextVR will then work on the 360-degree view in the near future.
“Eventually, the NBA will make 360-broadcasts available to the Daydream View virtual headset, says Jeff Marsilio, NBA vice president of global media distribution. Marsilio adds that it’s “likely” that other headsets like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and the Sony PlayStation VR will be supported.”
Virtual Reality will definitely change how NBA games can be watched. It also shows that the league is not afraid of testing new advancements and being a pioneer of change among the professional sports leagues in the country.