LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. – Continuing its relationship with FOX Sports, NextVR, the global leader in live virtual reality broadcast technology, will present the opening match of the 2016/2017 Bundesliga season in live virtual reality. Kicking off the start of one of Europe’s leading football competitions on August 26, NextVR will broadcast Bayern München vs. Werder Bremen from Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Available to fans in select locations globally, the match is scheduled for 8:30pm UTC.
This marks the first time the Bundesliga will broadcast live to an international audience in virtual reality. This is another innovative event production for the Bundesliga, which aims to stay ahead of the curve through innovation and technology in sports. In total, seven cameras will capture action, providing pitch-level shots as NextVR continues to build a virtual reality platform that provides content for the largest fan bases around the world.
“Virtual reality will allow fans globally to experience the Bundesliga opening match on a platform they’ve never experienced,” Dr Holger Blask, Director Audiovisual Rights and Member of the Executive Committee. “The Bundesliga is excited to bring new exciting technology to live sporting events.”
The Bundesliga brings Germany’s top 18 football teams together in an annual competition for national glory and international recognition in the world’s most popular sport. Viewers will have the ability to watch a produced feed with cameras placed in the stands, along the sidelines, midfield and behind the goal, as Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Robert Lewandowski aim to kick off Bayern München’s title defense against 4-time champion Werder Bremen.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with FOX Sports and for the opportunity to produce a Bundesliga match,” said Brad Allen, Executive Chairman of NextVR. “We are excited about the growing diversity of NextVR’s content portfolio as we continue to provide international sports fans with a wide array of options including the opening game of the Bundesliga season.”
Football fans experiencing the match with NextVR’s unparalleled high-definition technology platform will feel inches from the action as they witness every galloping run, free kick and tackle from an unmatched vantage point. This virtual reality event includes live audio commentary by former American professional soccer player and Bundesliga player, Heath Pearce, as well as FOX Sports soccer commentator Mark Rogondino.
“The pipeline for captivating content in virtual reality keeps growing as we work with NextVR, and the Bundesliga match is an opportunity to provide fans with immersive content in the world’s most popular sport,” said David Nathanson, FOX Sports Head of Business Operations “Providing early adopters of virtual reality with content in new markets allows fans globally to be a part of the action and take their viewing experiences to the next level.”
The Bundesliga opener is the fifth major event in 2016 in which FOX Sports has teamed with NextVR to offer live virtual reality content, including the Daytona 500, a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) title fight, the Big East college basketball tournament and the U.S. Open golf championship. The ongoing effort is a leading part of the FOX Sports Lab initiative, a designed approach to exploring technical partnerships that give viewers a fresh perspective and ad sales teams more targeted sports integrations.
With production and technical support from DFL’s production arm Sportcast and Sky Deutschland, the official Pay TV broadcast partner in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, this week’s match will be available in the following markets: U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Asia and select countries in Europe.
How to watch the Bundesliga in Virtual Reality
The virtual reality experience of the opening Bundesliga match of Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen will be available free in the FOX Sports portal on the NextVR platform, currently compatible with Gear VR headsets. For detailed instructions, go to NextVR.com/GO.
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’s 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, 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 licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.
NextVR enables the transmission of live, long-form virtual reality content in broadcast quality – leading the way for live and on-demand VR to become a mainstream experience for sporting events, concerts, cinematic productions and more. Launched in 2009, NextVR has more than 36 patents granted or pending for the capture, compression, transmission, and display of virtual reality content. NextVR’s platform allows the fully immersive content to be streamed with pristine quality using current home and mobile Internet connections. NextVR was founded by veterans in stereoscopic imaging technology, software development and an award-winning filmmaker. For more information, go to www.nextvr.com.
One of Europe’s leading football leagues, the Bundesliga sits at the pinnacle of Germany’s club football league system. With 18 member clubs and ranking first in the world in average match attendance, the Bundesliga attracts international football stars and fans from around the world – with broadcast television access in over 200 countries. The league was formed in 1962 and is operated by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL).