NEW YORK –Sept. 13, 2016 – For the first time ever, fans have the opportunity to watch a major sporting event live in virtual reality without special equipment through the FOX SPORTS VR app, a new offering from FOX Sports, powered by LiveLike. The huge non-conference college football showdown between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 14 Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 17 (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX broadcast network) is available to 95 million authenticated households through the new app, available for iOS and Android devices, making it the first live sporting event widely available in virtual reality.
Fans can access this first-of-its kind VR experience by downloading and installing the FOX SPORTS VR app and signing in with their television provider credentials the same way they currently enjoy streaming in FOX Sports GO, FOX Sports’ TV-everywhere app. The VR experience can be enjoyed without any special VR equipment through the interactive, 360-degree viewing experience built specifically for mobile devices, or with a Gear VR or cardboard headset. The app includes:
- A robust, immersive VR experience which starts in a “Virtual Suite” in the stadium. Users can watch the game from the suite or choose among several on-field perspectives to get closer to the action.
- An in-stadium video board playing the live FOX Sports television broadcast, allowing users the opportunity to watch the synchronized telecast simultaneously with VR content.
- Users also have an opportunity to see full rosters, schedules and matchup stats from both teams on demand.
The FOX SPORTS VR app is powered by LiveLike, a virtual reality platform company enabling broadcasters and sports teams to deliver immersive, live sports viewing experiences. FOX Sports and LiveLike currently plan to team up for multiple games this college football season, beginning with Ohio State at Oklahoma.
“FOX Sports’ commitment to innovation makes them the perfect company for us to work with as we roll out a VR experience that allows today’s sports fan to lean-in and watch sports in an entirely new way,” said Andre Lorenceau, founder and CEO, LiveLike. “The Oklahoma vs. Ohio State game represents the beginning of our relationship with FOX Sports, and we look forward to working with them to make the FOX SPORTS VR app an important destination in the sports viewing experience.”
“LiveLike has a unique and compelling approach to the live-sports VR experience,” said Devin Poolman, FOX Sports Senior Vice President of Digital Platforms. “We are thrilled to work with them to bring this new technology to our viewers, and it is particularly meaningful that this experience requires only an iPhone or Android device, allowing us to bring VR to a larger audience than ever before.”
FOX Sports’ ongoing technical innovation effort is a leading part of the FOX Sports Lab initiative, a collaborative approach to developing technical partnerships that offer fresh perspectives to viewers and innovative targeted sports integration opportunities to ad sales teams.
HOW TO WATCH THE GAME
Fans can watch Ohio State at Oklahoma by downloading the free FOX SPORTS VR app available on iOS and on Android via iTunes, Google Play, Oculus Store, Samsung’s Milk VR store, or visit foxsports.com/mobile. Message and data rates may apply.
LiveLike gives viewers the opportunity to watch live sports in virtual reality from a “private suite” that mimics a real VIP suite experience, complete with additional feeds, statistics and a jumbotron showing the game’s TV broadcast. With a flexible technology platform and device-agnostic approach, LiveLike is able to create tailored mobile experiences for Gear VR, Google Cardboard and more. The company has already broadcast games in partnership with Sky Sports (English Premier League games), Roland Garros (French Open), Manchester City (Manchester vs. Arsenal), Sky Germany and El Clasico. In February 2016, the company received the “1st and Future” award from NFL and TechCrunch. The company is based in New York.
ABOUT FOX SPORTS
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century Fox’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com and Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.