Future of NBA Broadcasting

NextVR and NBA

Virtual Reality to Become a Staple in Broadcasting Future

It wasn’t too long ago when the technologically advanced startup, NextVR privately demonstrated to the NBA the power of virtual reality via a 360-degree camera placed court-side at a Golden State Warriors game at the Oracle Arena.

That was only two years ago, and on Tuesday night, NextVR made their long-awaited return to the Bay Area, only this time with seven cameras, approximately 30-crew members, a full-scale TV production truck, and three announcer who had the opportunity to present the Warriors-Minnesota Timberwolves game in virtual reality to a small, but paying international audience of basketball fans.

The telecast came only a day after the NCAA men’s National Championship game was also broadcasted using similar technology provided by Intel of Santa Clara.

While most basketball fans watched both games in regular television fashion and were probably completely unaware of the three-dimensional experience that were made available, the NBA and NextVR are quietly working on the future of sports broadcasting.

“In five years, our goal is to produce this content so realistically that you’ll have a hard time distinguishing it from actually sitting in one of these seats,” NextVR co-founder David Cole said.

If anything, virtual reality is definitely the next big trend in sports broadcasting.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Sankar Jayaram, CEO of VR technology firm Voke, which Intel bought in November.

A tip of the iceberg indeed, the NBA continues to show why they are the leaders in technological innovation where North American sports are involved.



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