Fox Sports and LiveLike are bringing Saturday’s Notre Dame–Michigan State game to fans in social virtual reality via its free Fox Sports VR app. Viewers will have the ability to watch together from the best views in the stadium, while communicating verbally and interacting with each other’s in-suite avatars throughout the experience. Once again teaming with LiveLike, with presenting sponsorship by Wendy’s, Fox Sports is unveiling another view to its virtual-reality–production package, enabling users to access a 360-degree SkyCam look at the action between the Spartans and Fighting Irish.
“Fox Sports continues to accelerate the development of virtual reality as a unique complement to our overall package of sports offerings,” says Jeb Terry, VP, partner and program management, Fox Sports. “With the debut of social VR with the Gold Cup in July and now the addition of the SkyCam perspective, we continue to strengthen an already robust offering to both viewers and advertisers.”
Through its “virtual suite,” the Fox Sports VR app will offer:
- Multiple live, high-resolution camera angles with the ability to choose between views or select a director’s cut that automatically picks the best camera angle for live game action, including introduction of the SkyCam offering
- Multiple preproduced, all-access, 360-degree features
- Ability to go back in time to relive moments within the application
When entering the experience, users will be able to select a “Social” tab and a “Join Friends” button that connects the user to Facebook upon authorization. At that point, friends who have done the same will pop up on a list, enabling the user to view the experience in a social environment. Additionally, the experience can automatically select a viewing partner at random, with viewers having the ability to seamlessly switch Social VR “on” or “off.”
The Fox Sports VR app can be used either without special VR equipment —through the mobile-specific interactive, 360-degree viewing experience built specifically for smartphone viewing — or with a Gear VR or cardboard headset. Fans can access the “virtual suite” by downloading and installing the free Fox Sports VR app and signing in with their television-provider credentials.
The social–virtual-reality initiative is the latest effort from Fox Sports Lab, a designed approach to exploring technical partnerships that give viewers a fresh perspective and ad-sales teams more-targeted sports integrations.
Over the past two years, Fox Sports has offered nearly a dozen major events in VR: Super Bowl LI, the 2016 and 2017 Big East men’s basketball tournaments, the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, the 2016 U.S. Open Championship, the 2016 MLS Cup, the Gold Cup, the 2016 Bundesliga season opener, the 2016 Daytona 500, the 2016 Big Ten Football Championship, and a PBC heavyweight title fight.