Earlier today, Fox Sports and live-action virtual reality company NextVR announced a five year partnership to broadcast live sports in virtual reality. The partnership will live broadcast racing’s biggest event –the infamous Daytona 500– in virtual reality for the first time ever.
For this week’s Daytona 500 race, fans will be able to view the race from the starting line, the pit as crews are changing tires and a host of never before seen angles. The race will be televised at 1 PM EST on FOX and fans who wish to watch in virtual reality can do so on the NextVR app via the Samsung Galaxy VR.
Fox Sports began testing taking its audience into the virtual world with NextVR in March 2015 when the VR company live streamed last year’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR race in Fontana, California for Fox Sports executives and producers. The press release for the announcement promises that future VR programming will appear on the Fox Sports tab in the NextVR app, which could mean big things for virtual reality.
Super Bowl 51 in 2017 and Super Bowl 54 in 2020 will be broadcasted live by Fox during the multi-year deal with NextVR, which is expected to stretch until 2021. While no plans to live broadcast Super Bowl 51 in VR have been announced, but NextVR did set up a booth at NFL Experience (an interactive theme park set up for the public to use in California) during the week of Super Bowl 50. Fans who attended the booth were able to watch three football games in virtual reality.
NextVR co-founder DJ Roller touted the different camera angles fans would be able to experience to CNBC prior to Super Bowl 50. “One minute you’re sitting at the 50-yard line, the next minute you may decide to go stand in the end zone or on the line of scrimmage.” NextVR also live broadcasted the Golden State Warriors vs the New Orleans Pelicans in virtual reality in last October. At this rate, it won’t be long before you’re watching the biggest football game of the year from the comfort of the 50 yard line.