Imagine watching LeBron James' block on Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of this year's NBA Finals in virtual reality. The next time such a striking NBA moment happens, your viewing experience could put you a lot closer to the action.
The NBA is once again at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. This season, the NBA will partner with NextVR to officially become the first major American professional sporting league to broadcast in virtual reality, the league announced today. NextVR has previously partnered with the U.S. Open and The Masters.
So, what equipment do you need? An NBA League Pass and a Samsung Gear VR headset (compatibility for additional headset models will be added later this season). One game per week will be offered in virtual reality, and these games will be pay-per-view. But as a sample, the NBA is giving out the first game free. Next Thursday, fans can watch the San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings game in virtual reality.
"The VR broadcasts will be fully produced with dedicated announcers, multiple unmanned camera angles and optimized graphics," the NBA said in its press release. "Game breaks will be filled with in-venue entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage from the arena and VR-specific commentary."
Sounds awesome, doesn't it? While the requirements are a bit heavy for the casual fan, hardcore fans of the NBA and technology will likely enjoy this new viewing option.
Kudos to the NBA for being at the forefront of sports broadcast innovation.