NBC and Samsung Want to Broadcast the Olympics in Virtual Reality
The upcoming summer Olympics could be coming your way, three-dimensionally speaking.
NBC said on Thursday that it would broadcast 85 hours of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 360-degree virtual reality to owners of Samsung smartphones who also have compatible Samsung Gear VR headsets.
The Olympic Broadcasting Services, a broadcasting arm of the International Olympic Committee, will film the games in 360 degrees and send it off to NBC to broadcast internationally.
The Peacock Network (NBC) said that the 85 hours of VR video will include the opening and closing ceremonies as well as an assortment of competitions, such as men’s basketball, gymnastics, track and field, and fencing.
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Virtual reality media—like the upcoming Batman video game that Sony recently showed off during the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier this month—is thought to be more immersive while enabling people to interact with their surroundings.
“The world’s greatest sporting event is always a showcase for cutting edge technology, and we’re thrilled to partner with Samsung and OBS to bring our viewers even closer to compelling Olympic action with virtual reality,” NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said in a statement. “Olympic fans can be transported to iconic venues such as Maracana Stadium for an unprecedented view of the Opening Ceremony, and Copacabana Beach for an immersive beach volleyball experience in the sport’s ultimate setting.”
As of now, it seems like only Samsung customers will be able to watch the games in VR. NBC also said Samsung is the network’s “smartphone partner” for the Olympic Games.
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It’s unclear if owners of other VR headsets, like the HTC Vive or the Facebook (FB) Oculus Rift, will be able to partake in the 360-degree content. Both Samsung and Facebook are partners on the Samsung Gear VR device, with Samsung supplying the hardware components while the Facebook-owned Oculus supplies the software.
Fortune reached out to NBC to learn if the network plans to supply 360-degree video of the Olympics to other VR headset makers.
Update – June 30, 2:35 PM PST:
An NBC spokesperson confirmed that only Samsung customers will be able to watch the 360 video and said “Virtual Reality (VR) coverage is exclusive to authenticated users of compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones together with Samsung Gear VR via the NBC Sports app.”