US broadcaster Turner Sports has announced a multi-year partnership with technology giant Intel to show National Basketball Association (NBA) games in virtual reality (VR).
Starting with the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in February, Intel will become the exclusive provider of VR for the NBA on Turner’s TNT channel. Intel True VR cameras will capture live game footage from multiple angles in order to allow fans watching on TNT to view the game from different locations throughout the arena, including sitting at courtside or up in the stands.
Additionally, Intel will use its freeD technology to integrate 360-degree volumetric video into the offering, which will allow fans to pause a moment of game action and view it from the player’s point of view. Users will need to download the new NBA on TNT VR app, which can be viewed on Samsung GearVR and Google Daydream headsets.
The deal will also see Intel become an authorised global provider of VR and 360-degree video for the NBA’s complete list of official broadcast partners around the world.
Turner extended its rights deal with the NBA in 2014, which guarantees TNT coverage of North America’s pre-eminent basketball league until 2025.
Jeff Marsilio, the NBA’s vice president of global media distribution, said: “This is an exciting time to be a basketball fan, and we are thrilled to be working with Intel and Turner Sports to make virtual reality and 360-degree content from the NBA on TNT games available. We are committed to bringing the most innovative and immersive experiences possible for our fans.”