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NBC to offer 85 hours of VR content to users from Rio Olympics, exclusively through Samsung Gear VR

Occulus, Gear VR, Samsung, Facebook

Virtual Reality is the next “it” thing and corporations are vying up to discover newer and more interesting ways to use it to deliver content to their users. Sports and their coverage have already been influenced by the introduction of Virtual reality and that said, how can the upcoming Rio Olympics remain untouched by the newest and hottest mode of content delivery? Well, the Rio broadcasting network is finally shedding some light on its plans for its special VR coverage of the mega sports fest.

There will be a comprehensive coverage of the games and NBC will be offering over 85 hours of VR content though its Sports app, however, there is a catch……..the content will be limited to owners of the Samsung Gear VR headsets. Is that a groan i hear from folks with other headsets or a cheer from the owners of Gear VR?

The content will include the usually spectacular opening and closing ceremonies and a variety of sports, including men’s basketball, track and field, gymnastics, boxing, beach volleyball, fencing and diving. The content naturally wont be made available instantly but will be delivered after a delay of one or two days. All VR programming will be presented from August 6, the day after the Opening Ceremony, to August 22 which is the day after the Games conclude.

This exclusive partnership is thanks to Samsung being the Official Smartphone Partner for the Summer Olympics. We are sure that the company will market the exclusivity of the Olympics VR content to its advantage, however, it will be interesting to see if the content manages make it way to other VR providers.

Speaking on the topic, Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics said,

The world’s greatest sporting event is always a showcase for cutting edge technology, and we’re thrilled to partner with Samsung and Olympic Broadcasting Service to bring our viewers even closer to compelling Olympic action with virtual reality.

Yiannis Exarchos, Olympic Broadcasting Services CEO, added,

VR has the power to enable hundreds of millions of people around the world to have a real sense of presence and participation in the most universal celebration of humanity, which is the Olympic Games.

Interestingly, the broadcasts will be in 360 degrees, so you’ll be able to look anywhere in the room and see stuff happening around you. This is an improvement over Samsung’s previous VR broadcast when it offered exclusive live streaming of one of the DNC debates using the Gear headsets and is probably thanks to the one day delay Samsung appears to be using to fine tune the content before presenting it to consumers.


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