The NBA’s marquee matchups on TNT will now feature live virtual reality game action, as Intel and Turner Sports announced their multi-year partnership on Tuesday to provide content for the NBA on TNT VR app starting with NBA All-Star 2018 in February.
To watch, fans will be able to download the forthcoming app on the Google Play and Oculus stores and use Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream headsets.
The NBA has for the past two seasons offered scheduled NextVR live broadcasts in virtual reality — 27 games this season — through NBA League Pass, which does not include access to games that TNT broadcasts nationally. Now after the All-Star game in Los Angeles, one TNT game per week for the rest of the season will be available for virtual reality viewing around the world.
Using Intel True VR technology, viewers of the NBA on TNT games can have virtual seats courtside or up in the stands for a bird’s-eye view with fans being able to choose from multiple camera angles. Intel True VR has for the past two seasons streamed select NCAA tournament games in men’s basketball, offering viewers the chance to switch between angles of the action from different sides of the court and also watch the coaches and crowd.
“You produce the viewing experience,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said at Web Summit in Lisbon.
“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,” Jeff Marsilio, NBA vice president, Global Media Distribution, said in a statement. “We are committed to bringing the most innovative and immersive experiences possible for our fans.”
And thanks to Intel, which has had Intel True VR used in Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour, the basketball viewing experience could get even better.
Intel is also partnering with the NBA to become an authorized provider of virtual reality and 360-degree volumetric video with Intel freeD technology for official league broadcast partners globally.