Live NBA game action will soon be available in virtual reality, as Turner Sports and Intel have announced a multiyear partnership to offer VR using Intel True VR technology.
Intel will become the Exclusive Provider of Virtual Reality for the NBA on TNT and deliver live content for marquee matchups beginning with NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles. Additionally, Intel is partnering with the NBA to become an authorized provider of virtual reality and 360-degree volumetric video with Intel freeDTM technology for official NBA broadcast partners globally.
“Intel is working with leagues and sports organizations all over the world to develop and deliver the most cutting-edge immersive media experiences that will make sports more engaging for the next generation of fans,” said James Carwana, vice president and general manager of Intel Sports. “This unique partnership with the NBA will enable us to work with official league broadcasters, including Turner Sports, to take their broadcasts to an unprecedented level and create new ways to immerse viewers in the game.”
Using Intel True VR technology, viewers of the NBA on TNT games can be transported courtside to sit knee-to-knee with celebrities or up in the stands for a bird’s-eye view. Leveraging the company’s powerful computing technology and proprietary approach to virtual reality, Intel is able to create a lifelike virtual reality experience that allows users to choose multiple camera angles. Intel can also integrate 360-degree volumetric video into the virtual reality experience using Intel freeD technology.
“Turner Sports and Turner Ignite Sports have been at the forefront of delivering thrilling new experiences to fans. This unprecedented partnership, with Turner Sports as the first NBA broadcast partner to offer the latest Intel VR technology, does just that,” said Will Funk, executive vice president of property marketing and corporate partnerships for Turner Sports. “We look forward to bringing this partnership to life through our broadcasts, as well as telling the story behind the power of Intel’s True VR technology in other unique, unexpected ways.”
Every virtual reality game experience will be available through the forthcoming NBA on TNT VR app on Samsung GearVR and Google Daydream headsets for download via the Oculus and Google Play stores.
“This is an exciting time to be a basketball fan, and we are thrilled to be working with Intel and Turner Sports to make virtual reality and 360-degree content from the NBA on TNT games available,” said Jeff Marsilio, NBA vice president, Global Media Distribution. “We are committed to bringing the most innovative and immersive experiences possible for our fans.”
Working with the Intel, the NBA will also make 360-degree volumetric video available to global league broadcast partners, which collectively deliver games in 215 countries. In the future, Intel plans to integrate Intel freeD technology into the virtual reality experience to enable fans to freeze a moment of game action and view it from the player’s point of view as if they were on the court. The technology can also be incorporated into game broadcasts allowing commentators to pause key moments in the game and view the action in 3D from any angle.