MLB, NTT Partnership to Offer 12K ‘Ultra Reality Viewing’

NEW YORK—Baseball fans may not have to go out to the ball game to feel like they are actually there with a newly announced partnership between Major League Baseball and Japan’s NTT technology company. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and NTT President and CEO Jun Sawada announced the multi-year partnership at MLB headquarters on Sept. 4.

The goal of the partnership is to create new experiences for baseball fans. As the new “Official MLB Fan Experience Partner for Ultra Reality Viewing” and “Title Sponsor of MLB Network Ballpark Cam,” NTT will be able to utilize MLB’s distribution platforms, including digital, mobile, social, offline and television.

NTT’s “Ultra Reality Viewing” will be a key part of its offering for baseball fans. URV is a real-time, super high-definition surround video synthesis technology that combines multiple 4K camera images into a 12K image in real time and transmits it to remote locations. Prototype URV experiences are being planned for select upcoming MLB games, with specific details announced at a later date.

NTT will also serve as the title sponsor for MLB’s Ballpark Cam technology, which is a network of cameras installed across all 30 ballparks used for pre- and post-game coverage on MLB Network.

“We’re excited NTT has committed to building an expanded baseball technology portfolio and we eagerly anticipate what the partnership will deliver for clubs and fans,” said Manfred. “Sharing, and executing on, a vision to leverage advanced technologies to benefit baseball fans will serve as the foundation for how our NTT partnership will explore and experiment with unique ways to create new baseball experiences.”