NBC has confirmed plans for 50 hours of live virtual reality coverage of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
The US broadcaster, which holds the exclusive rights to the Olympics until 2032, will make the VR coverage available on a range of devices via a digital access portal to pay-TV subscribers. Intel, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) TOP sponsor, will power the footage through its Intel True VR system, while production will be carried out by Olympic Broadcasting Services.
The events available will include the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as action from alpine skiing, curling, snowboarding, skeleton, figure skating, short track, ski jumping, ice hockey and big air disciplines.
It will be the first time that live VR coverage will be made available to viewers in the US. NBC distributed delayed on-demand content from Rio 2016. VR replays, packaged highlights and a 360-degree video from an event not available live.
News of the coverage was confirmed at the CES 2018 consumer electronics exhibition, where Intel also revealed it was to create an LA-based studio for VR and augmented reality production.
“The Olympics have long been an opportunity to showcase emerging media technology,” Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics. “With the help of Intel’s industry-leading virtual reality technology, NBC Olympics will deliver a transformative experience that will bring to Olympic fans an entirely new perspective on the speed, thrills, and excitement of an Olympic Winter Games.”
The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics will run from 9th to 25th February.