NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2016 – NBA Digital and NextVR, the leader in broadcasting live events in virtual reality, will live stream at least one NBA LEAGUE PASS game per week in virtual reality during the 2016-17 season. This programming marks the first regular schedule of live games delivered in VR by a professional sports league. As part of this multiyear partnership, NextVR becomes the “Official LEAGUE PASS VR Partner of the NBA.”
NBA LEAGUE PASS is part of NBA Digital, the NBA's extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.
The first VR game will be available for free – as part of the NBA LEAGUE PASS free trial period – on Oct. 27 when the Sacramento Kings host the San Antonio Spurs at the Golden 1 Center. The full schedule will be announced later this month.
Fans with a Samsung Gear VR headset and a compatible Samsung smartphone can experience the free preview by accessing the NBA Channel within the NextVR app. Later this season, the offering will be expanded to support additional VR headset options.
The weekly games will be available as part of the NBA LEAGUE PASS full season package. Whether purchased through a third party distributor or directly through the NBA, fans will be able to authenticate their accounts by inputting their NBA LEAGUE PASS login credentials (obtained at NBA.com or the NBA App) within NextVR’s app.
The VR broadcasts will be fully produced with dedicated announcers, multiple unmanned camera angles and optimized graphics. Game breaks will be filled with in-venue entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage from the arena and VR-specific commentary.
Last season, NextVR and Turner Sports delivered NBA fans the first live professional sports game in virtual reality on opening night of the 2015-16 NBA season when the Golden State Warriors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena. Along with the live game presentation, fans had the opportunity to access the live broadcast of the Warriors ring ceremony presentation in virtual reality.
Fans with a subscription to NBA LEAGUE PASS can watch the virtual reality experience featuring the Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs game by downloading the free NextVR app for Samsung Gear VR, which is available in the Oculus Home app store, and accessing the NBA Channel which launches Oct. 27. For more detailed instructions, go to NextVR.com/GetVR.
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2015-16 season featured 100 international players from 37 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com and the NBA App, which achieved record viewership and traffic during the 2015-16 season. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than one billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.
NextVR is the world’s best virtual reality platform for delivering live sports and music in VR to fans globally. Launched in 2009, the company has patented technology that delivers an unparalleled VR experience providing fans extraordinary access and profound immersion. NextVR has world-class partnerships with leaders in sports and entertainment including the NBA, FOX Sports, Live Nation, and the International Champions Cup. NextVR was founded by industry leaders with decades of experience in 3D stereoscopic imaging, compression technology and VR broadcasting. For more information, visit NextVR.com.