The NBA has been the most virtual reality-happy of the U.S. sports leagues, and that’s continuing through a new deal to offer live VR broadcasts on Turner.
Turner is partnering with Intel and its True VR technology to make the magic happen. Starting with the 2018 season, Intel will be capturing virtual reality and 360-degree volumetric video of NBA games that Turner subscribers can watch through the upcoming NBA on TNT VR app. Starting with the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, Intel will provide views of the games from multiple unique angles within the arenas, like courtside or a bird’s eye view.
Intel also plans to integrate its freeD technology to let viewers freeze a moment of game action and view it from the player’s point of view or to allow commentators to pause key moments and view the game in 3D from any angle.
The virtual reality game experience will work with the Samsung GearVR and Google Daydream via downloads from the Oculus and Google Play stores. According to Variety, Intel will set up its cameras at American Airlines Center in Dallas and Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to begin with, and then the companies will set up at more arenas in the future.
Intel will also provide 360-degree video content to the NBA so it can send it out to the global league broadcast partners across 215 countries.
Earlier this year, the NBA announced that it would start selling its VR broadcasts a la carte, charging $7 per game to allow viewers without the pricey League Pass to watch the livestreams.
Near the beginning of the 2016 season, the NBA announced that fans who spent $200 on a yearly subscription to NBA League Pass would get to watch a 180-degree livestream of the featured games using a Samsung Gear VR headset, as well as some limited 360-degree content.