Fox Sports is getting into the VR game by partnering with NextVR, which employs a special encoding technology for experiencing VR through a mobile phone connected to a Samsung Gear VR headset. Fox Sports and NextVR teamed up to broadcast live VR footage of two NASCAR events, believed to be the first VR tests of their kind.
VR footage of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last weekend were captured by two cameras — one on pit road and the other between the pits and the track — providing 180-degree and 360-degree views not afforded by traditional television race coverage. The immersive content was immediately streamed to Fox Sports execs and producers on site.
“NextVR has spent the last six years perfecting their VR technology, which made them the logical first choice for Fox Sports to partner with for this test,” said Mike Davies, Fox Sports senior VP of field operations, in a statement. “NextVR currently is one of the only companies with the ability to transmit live in VR, and their technology is built on a broadcast platform, making it infinitely scalable.”
NextVR currently has no competition in its ability to transmit long-form live VR content. The company has already worked with the NHL and the NBA, along with rock band Coldplay and other entertainers.
“Live transmission is really the killer app for virtual reality – enabling viewers to witness sporting events as they happen, live in VR and from locations beyond a front row seat ” said DJ Roller, co-founder of NextVR. “We could not be happier to work with FOX Sports to bring virtual reality to NASCAR fans and all of their viewers around the world.”