The marquee events of NBA All-Star Weekend are going virtual.
The three-point contest and slam dunk event and its practice session at Barclays Center on Saturday night, as well as the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday from Madison Square Garden will be shot in the virtual reality format, with highlights depicting immersive, 360-degree views soon to be available through Samsung’s Milk VR.
Fans with the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition headset powered by Oculus, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will be able to access the marque hoops content for free by downloading the Milk VR app and navigating to the NBA section for streams or downloads.
In January, the league announced it would become the first U.S. professional sports league to bring virtual reality experiences to the public. The NBA, which announced last month that it would become the first U.S. pro sports league to present virtual experiences to the public, plans to deliver new experiences on Samsung’s Milk VR, introduced at last month’s Consumer Electronic Show, throughout the balance of the 2014-15 campaign.
In addition to sports, the service offers downloads in the highest quality available (4K x 2K) and adaptive streaming options across music, action and lifestyle, with new content appearing daily.
The NBA and its technology teammates gave attendees of the league’s All-Star Technology Summit a chance to sample a courtside, virtual reality presentation of an October preseason game between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers in Rio de Janiero, as part of its Global Games initiative. Last month, that series of contests yielded the first-ever U.S. pro league contest in 4K. Neulion streamed the presentation of BT Sports ultra-high production of the Milwaukee Bucks-New York Knicks contest from London’s O2 arena at NBA headquarters in Manhattan.
As to Samsung’s Milk VR, the service offers downloads in the highest quality available (4K x 2K) and adaptive streaming options across sports, music, action and lifestyle, with new content appearing daily.
“With basketball enthusiasts all over the world, it’s paramount that we explore new ways to bring fans even closer to the game,” said Jeff Marsilio, NBA vice president of global media distribution. “Virtual reality delivers amazing vantage points like the NBA All-Star Game from a courtside seat or Sprite Slam Dunk from the baseline. We’re very excited about the possibilities and look forward to rolling out the content to our fans.”