The virtual reality craze is beginning to hit the mainstream, with several versions of the headsets set to sweep the sporting world off it’s feet.
Now, with a new market for sports broadcasters to tap into, it looks as though watching the latest sports events through your VR headset could become the norm.
Virtual reality was originally designed for video games but with Google and Sky getting involved in the use of VR, there have been several events in which sports fans can watch their favourite teams from incredible angles and as close to the action as you will ever be able to get. The latest in the string of broadcasts includes BT Sport and EE who put on an event for Arsenal and Chelsea fans as the two met back in September. The game was broadcasted to fans via a virtual reality headset in four EE stores across London: Westfield Stratford, Oxford Street, Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road.
Sky Sports have also recently launched their new ‘Sky VR’ app, which allows you to sit ringside at major boxing events, front row at Old Trafford or even be in the pits during a Formula 1 event with 360-degree vision. Viewers will also be able to watch exclusive documentaries through their VR headsets, widening the range of content that can be shown on the platform.
With virtual reality set to take centre stage over the next few years, more and more of those who don’t currently know about the technology will soon not be able to ignore it. In terms of accessibility, Google are set to launch their VR headset, Google Daydream, which will retail at £69 and be made available in November, making it accessible to the masses for a relatively cheap price.
So, is this the next step for sports broadcasting? Yes, but the real question is whether it will remain a niche experience, or become the norm.
We’re sure there will be more and more VR sports events in the near future, so you’ll be able to decide for yourself if this really is the future of sports broadcasting.