Fox Sports, NextVR to Offer Bundesliga Opener in VR

Fox Sports and NextVR said they will team to offer the opening match of the 2016/2017 Bundesliga season live in virtual reality.

The 54th season of Germany’s top pro soccer league kicks off August 26, with Bayern München set to take on Werder Bremen from Allianz Arena in Munich at 8:30 p.m. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) (8:30 p.m. CET/2:30 p.m. EDT/11:30 a.m. PDT). 

Fox Sports and NextVR said the VR production will be the first in the emerging format that the Bundesliga will broadcast live to an international audience.

They said seven cameras will capture the VR action and provide pitch-level shots during the match. This VR event will feature live audio commentary by former American professional soccer player and Bundesliga player, Heath Pearce, and Fox Sports soccer commentator Mark Rogondino.

The VR coverage of the Bundesliga opening fixture will be available free in the Fox Sports portal on the NextVR platform, which is currently compatible with Samsung Gear VR headsets.

In February, Fox Sports and NextVR announced a five-year pact to collaborate on VR coverage of a range of sporting events, and followed with another VR production of the U.S. Open Championship in June. They have also teamed on VR coverage of the Daytona 500, a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) title fight, and the Big East college basketball tournament.

NextVR, a startup that specializes in live VR broadcasts, announced an $80 “B” round in August aimed at fueling international expansion.