×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC, Intel Will Stream 30 Winter Olympics Events in Virtual Reality

In the coming days, sports fans will once again be hooked to their screens to follow the Winter Olympic Games. This time around, those screens will include a variety of virtual reality headsets, where viewers will be able to watch 30 events as 360-degree broadcasts — including a live feed of Friday’s opening ceremony.

“This is the biggest production experience that we have delivered to date,” explained Intel Sports managing director David Aufhauser during a recent interview. Intel is producing the VR version of the Olympics in partnership with Olympics Broadcast Service (OBS), and then distributes 360-degree videos to 10 broadcast partners around the world.

In the U.S., Intel is partnering with NBC, the official Olympics broadcaster. Viewers can tune in by downloading the NBC Sports VR app, which is available for both Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream VR headsets as well as for Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Anyone who doesn’t own a VR headset yet can also download the app for iOS or Android phones on the App Store or Google Play, and watch 360-degree videos in a magic window-mode, tilting their phone to look around. Finally, NBC will distribute some videos on the web and social as well. Viewing on the web typically still attracts more eyeballs, admitted Aufhauser, but Intel has seen a shift towards VR viewing. “The idea is that fans will graduate from one to another,” he said.

Intel and NBC will make about half of the 30 events they stream available for live viewing, and offer other competitions as VOD videos. However, most of the coverage will only be accessible to consumers who subscribe to cable or another form of pay TV; authentication is being required within the app itself.

The NBC Olympics VR app also features some short doc features about individual athletes, as well as a medal board and archived clips from previous Olympics — but at the center are the live broadcasts, said Aufhauser. “We believe everything starts with live.”

To make these more unique, Intel is giving viewers the ability to switch seats in mid-broadcast and watch competitions from different angles, and in some cases also find perspectives that aren’t available to viewers on TV, or even at the event, said Aufhauser. “We want to have our cameras in places that the audience can’t go.”

More Digital

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp. Pinterest co-founder

    Pinterest Shares Up Close to 29% on IPO Day

    Shares of the social pinning service Pinterest closed at $24.45 — 28.6% above their IPO price — on the company’s first day at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday as investors were looking to get in on the latest tech listing. Pinterest’s shares opened at $23.75, 25% above the IPO pricing of $19 per share, [...]

  • Netflix Logo

    Netflix to Open Production Hub in New York City Encompassing 100,000 Square Feet

    Netflix plans to open a new production and office facility in Manhattan — which will provide up to $100 million in investments to New York City and result in hundreds of new jobs, according to New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Netflix’s new corporate offices in the Big Apple will take up 100,000 square [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Has Lost Over 90% of Its Subscribers in Less Than a Year (Report)

    MoviePass users apparently hit the exits en masse after it scaled back the number of movies users could see each month: The flailing cinema-subscription provider has seen its subscriber rolls plunge from a peak of more than 3 million to just 225,000 in under a year, according to a new report. The numbers were reported [...]

  • The Nashville, Tenn. downtown area and

    Nashville City Council Sides With Songwriters Against Streamers’ CRB Appeal

    Nashville city leaders have sided against the streaming services Amazon, Spotify, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora in the appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision that would give songwriters a pay raise. The Nashville Metro Council adopted the resolution as part of its consent agenda earlier this week, although the move is “purely symbolic” and the streamers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content