The Best Seats in the House
The 2015-2016 season of the NBA tipped off last week with the reigning champs Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. The game was also the first time that a major sports league was live-streamed in virtual reality. This was done with the help of virtual reality company NextVR and Samsung, allowing users of the Samsung Gear VR to watch the season opener from a courtside view in the comfort of their own homes. Vice president of global media for the NBA Jeff Marsilio said, "You look to the left, and see a basket. You look to the right, and see a basket. You look to the ground, and see the court. It feels like you're at the game."
Events in Virtual Reality
While the regular network broadcast of the game from TNT featured the usual audio commentary and graphics, NextVR’s live-stream featured audio straight from the arena, placing users in the best seats in the house. Currently the NBA has no further plans to stream VR on a regular basis, although the Sacramento Kings have invested in other virtual reality broadcast technology. The NBA broadcast follows on the heels of CNN’s Democratic presidential debate which was also live-streamed in virtual reality using the very same technology provided by NextVR and Samsung.