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November 25, 2016updated 30 Nov 2016 5:09pm

Virtual reality, the future of sport: NBA live streams as the NFL and Premier League play catch up

Will we all be watching our favourite sports events in VR next year?

By James Nunns

Whether it is as an educational tool, for movies, in the porn industry, or improving games, virtual reality is having a big impact across many areas.

The sports industry is another that has moved to embrace the technology in order to give fans a new and exciting experience that they can enjoy from the comfort of their own home.

English Premier League Football
International Rugby Union
Tennis – See the VR video below

With IDC predicting that virtual reality hardware sales will go past the $2bn mark this year, the race is now on for content providers to get on board and develop enough content to keep people entertained.

While hardware costs remain high this is something that will drop so it is wise of those in the sports industry to move to capitalise on the technology.

Already the market is seeing less expensive headsets appear in the WearPlay, which launched on Indiegogo and costs less than $200.

Sports teams, brands in their own right are embracing VR to get closer to the fans.

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The National Basketball Association has really become a leader when it comes to embracing virtual reality.

The league and its partner NextVR revealed earlier this season that at least one game a week will be broadcast in virtual reality. To complete the experience it will come with dedicated announcers, multiple camera angles and graphics that have been optimised for VR.

NextVR getting ready to record an NBA game.

NextVR getting ready to record an NBA game.

To access it fans need to have a full-season NBA League Pass subscription and the games can be viewed by using the Samsung Gear VR headset and the NextVR app, plans are afoot to support more headsets at a later date.

The NBA said in a press release at the time: “This programming marks the first regular schedule of live games delivered in VR by a professional sports league.”

Virtual Reality has previously been used by the league when it partnered with Oculus to create a 25 minute VR documentary called, ‘Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals’, which was narrated by Michael Jordan.

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