Continuing its relationship with FOX Sports, NextVR, the global leader in live virtual reality broadcast technology, will present the opening match of the 2016/2017 Bundesliga season in live virtual reality. Kicking off the start of one of Europe’s leading football competitions on August 26, NextVR will broadcast FC Bayern Munich vs. SV Werder Bremen from Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Available to fans in select locations globally, the match is scheduled for 8:20pm CET/2:20pm EDT/11:20am PDT.
This marks the first time the Bundesliga will broadcast live to an international audience in virtual reality. This is another innovative event production for the Bundesliga, which aims to stay ahead of the curve through innovation and technology in sports. In total, seven cameras will capture action, providing pitch-level shots as NextVR continues to build a virtual reality platform that provides content for the largest fan bases around the world.
„Virtual reality will allow fans globally to experience the Bundesliga opening match on a platform they’ve never experienced,“ Dr Holger Blask, Director Audiovisual Rights and Member of the Executive Committee. „The Bundesliga is excited to bring new exciting technology to live sporting events.“
The Bundesliga brings Germany’s top 18 football teams together in an annual competition for national glory and international recognition in the world’s most popular sport. Viewers will have the ability to watch a produced feed with cameras placed in the stands, along the sidelines, midfield and behind the goal, as Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Robert Lewandowski aim to kick off Bayern München’s title defense against 4-time champion Werder Bremen.
„We are thrilled to continue our relationship with FOX Sports and for the opportunity to produce a Bundesliga match,“ said Brad Allen, Executive Chairman of NextVR. „We are excited about the growing diversity of NextVR’s content portfolio as we continue to provide international sports fans with a wide array of options including the opening game of the Bundesliga season.“
Football fans experiencing the match with NextVR’s unparalleled high-definition technology platform will feel inches from the action as they witness every galloping run, free kick and tackle from an unmatched vantage point. This virtual reality event includes live audio commentary by former American professional soccer player and Bundesliga player, Heath Pearce, as well as FOX Sports soccer commentator Mark Rogondino.
„The pipeline for captivating content in virtual reality keeps growing as we work with NextVR, and the Bundesliga match is an opportunity to provide fans with immersive content in the world’s most popular sport,“ said David Nathanson, FOX Sports Head of Business Operations „Providing early adopters of virtual reality with content in new markets allows fans globally to be a part of the action and take their viewing experiences to the next level.“
The Bundesliga opener is the fifth major event in 2016 in which FOX Sports has teamed with NextVR to offer live virtual reality content, including the Daytona 500, a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) title fight, the Big East college basketball tournament and the U.S. Open golf championship. The ongoing effort is a leading part of the FOX Sports Lab initiative, a designed approach to exploring technical partnerships that give viewers a fresh perspective and ad sales teams more targeted sports integrations.
With production and technical support from DFL’s production arm Sportcast and Sky Deutschland, the official Pay TV broadcast partner in Germany, Austria and Switzerland this week’s match will be available in the following markets: U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Asia and select countries in Europe.
How to watch the Bundesliga in Virtual Reality
The virtual reality experience of the opening Bundesliga match of Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen will be available free in the FOX Sports portal on the NextVR platform, currently compatible with Gear VR headsets. For detailed instructions, go to NextVR.com/GO.