U.S. Open Gets Virtually Real

LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF.—Fox Sports and NextVR announced a partnership to live stream the 2015 U.S. Open in the virtual reality format—a 360-degree view. Fox Sports inaugural broadcast kicks off on June 18, 2015 with VR viewership available to fans visiting select hospitality areas of the course.

“Our ongoing efforts with NextVR are exactly the kind of relationships we are exploring with our new Fox Lab platform,” said John Entz, Fox Sports president of production. “Virtual reality is most certainly delivering a new level of excitement to next-generation production possibilities and it will be great to gauge the reactions of the audiences who get to sample it at the U.S. Open this weekend on Fox.”

NextVR said it provides “live, long-form broadcast quality content across all virtual reality devices, to a global audience.” NextVR has done VR demonstrations for the NHL, the MLB, and with the NBA, which is building out VR capabilities. NextVR said it also partnered with Fox Sports earlier this year to broadcast the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in California.

As many as 300 visitors a day will be able to check out the tournament in surround vision at U.S. Open VIP tents. Five camera rigs will be placed at vantage points around the course. Fans will have the ability in real time, to virtually visit the most active holes and be immersed in the action. NextVR will also live stream the U.S. Open VR experience to Fox Sports locations in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

U.S. Open 2015 highlights as well as other premium experiences will be included on the NextVR portal, which will be available on all virtual reality devices, including Oculus, Samsung, Sony and others. The portal will enable fully immersive content to be streamed using current home and mobile Internet connections