VR Coverage of Rio Olympics Announced

VR Coverage of Rio Olympics Announced

US broadcaster NBC has just confirmed that it will offer virtual reality (VR) coverage of this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Compatible only with Samsung’s Gear VR headsets, the content will come from Olympic Broadcasting Services.

This will mark the first time Olympics programming will be available in VR. Although they're cautious: They don't expect shooting Rio in 8K and VR to be a game changer, but it rather a good test of the market.

NBC and Samsung first tested out the approach at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, back in February 2016. Now, they feel ready to go mainstream with their "360-degree storytelling".

Viewers with a suitable headset will be able to get access to 85 hours of VR content, accessible through the NBC Sports app. Options will include highlight reels, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies and a cross-section of sports, including men’s basketball, track and field, gymnastics, boxing, beach volleyball, fencing and diving. The downside is that due to the processing needed, the footage will only be available on a delay of a day or so. 

The impressive location of this year's Games should be an added draw and make much more of the VR experience. Viewers can be transported to iconic venues such as Maracana Stadium for the Opening Ceremony, and beautiful backdrops, such as volleyball on Copacabana Beach.

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