Strategies & Tactics

NBC Offering VR Streaming of Some Winter Olympics Events

February 1, 2018

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NBC is livestreaming more than 50 hours of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea this month using virtual-reality technology that creates interactive 360-degree environments.

As Variety reported, this is the first time that Olympic programming in VR is being livestreamed in the U.S. on a wide range of devices and platforms. And it’s also the first time that any Winter Olympics are being broadcast in VR. For the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, NBC broadcast more than 85 hours of VR content, but most of it was available on a next-day delay.

The live VR programming will include the opening and closing ceremonies, alpine skiing, curling, snowboarding, skeleton bobsledding, figure skating, short track, ski jumping and ice hockey, among other events. NBC is also offering VR replays of all Winter Olympics events previously livestreamed and daily 360-degree videos of sports not available in VR the previous day.

In a statement, Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics, said that with help from Intel’s virtual-reality technology, “NBC Olympics will deliver a transformative experience that will bring to Olympic fans an entirely new perspective on the speed, thrills and excitement of an Olympic Winter Games.”

To access VR content from the games in Pyeongchang from Feb. 9-–25, U.S. viewers need to subscribe to a pay-TV provider and log in using their subscriber credentials. The virtual-reality content is available through the NBC Sports VR app to authenticated users on Samsung, Google, Windows, Android and iOS devices. — Greg Beaubien 
 

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