The Madrid Open tennis tournament is set to become the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event to have its matches broadcast live in virtual reality (VR).
The technology is being supplied by Silicon Valley and Madrid-based start-up Yerba Buena VR, which will also install cameras allowing viewers to watch the action in 360-degrees, assisted by Samsung Gear VR headsets and the Orange fibre optic.
In addition, tournament organisers have revealed that from 9th May, matches in 360-degrees will also be available on Spanish broadcaster TVE’s YouTube channel.
“The virtual reality will make fans live a unique experience,” said Gerard Tsobanian, president and chief executive of the Madrid Open. “I am happy that two great partners such as Samsung and Orange have decided to join our commitment to innovation. The Mutua Madrid Open has a technological vocation, something that we demonstrate year after year. And I think the new 360 stands will be a success.”
“We are proud to bring to a global impact tournament such as the Madrid Open the latest technology in virtual reality,” added Yerba Buena chief executive Héctor Prieto. “I can´t think of a better scenario to show the public the revolution in sports broadcasting.”
This year’s Madrid Open is scheduled to take place from 5th to 14th May, when home favourite Rafael Nadal will be aiming to win the title for a second consecutive year.