NBA Digital and NextVR have struck a multi-year partnership that includes a commitment to stream at least one live NBA League Pass game per week in virtual reality format during the 2016/2017 season, starting with the Oct. 27 matchup between the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs at the Golden 1 center.
The full VR schedule will be announced later this month, but the first VR game, the inaugural game at the new venue, will be offered for free, as part of the NBA League Pass free trial period. The VR broadcasts will feature dedicated announcers, multiple unmanned camera angles and “optimized graphics,” they said, noting that game breaks will be filled with in-venue entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage from the arena and VR-specific commentary.
Future VR productions will be available as part of the NBA League Pass subscription package.
Financial terms were not announced, but the deal also makes NextVR the “Official LEAGUE PASS VR Partner of the NBA.”
The first game will be supported in the format on the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR, with more VR headset options to become available later in the season.
NextVR connected with Turner Sports on a VR production for last year’s season opener between the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena.
Founded in 2009, NextVR recently landed an $80 million “B” round of funding.