Meta Plans VR New Year's Eve Special Hosted by Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal Shaq'tacular Spectacular Meta
Shaquille O'Neal is hosting a VR special in New Year's Eve (Image credit: Meta)

Meta said it is planning to stream a virtual reality New Year's Eve special hosted by former NBA great and TNT basketball analyst Shaquille O'Neal.

The Shaqtacular Spectacular will be available across Meta's properties including Meta Horizon Worlds, Meta Quest, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger's Watch Together.

The one-hour program will feature  Cardi B., Killer Mike, Ludacris, Lil Yachty, Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek.

“Virtual Reality has become such an exciting new way to experience and participate in and engage with entertainment and culture,” said Brad Haugen, president of Westbrook Media, one of the companies involved in producing the special. “We are thrilled to partner with Shaq, the team at Jersey Legends, Media.Monks and Meta and invite audiences to spend New Year’s Eve with some of their favorite performers and athletes in a way that truly allows them to feel like they are in the room too. The show has electrifying performances, hilarious and competitive games and it’s been so fun for us to explore all that we can do in this space.”

Shaquille O'Neal Shaq'tacular Spectacular

Shaquille O'Neal (Image credit: Meta)

The special will be available starting at 6:30 p.m. ET and repeated on a loop all night.

“We’re proud to partner with Westbrook Media and Meta on this - just one example of how great teamwork can deliver boundary pushing, immersive entertainment at the highest quality,” said Eric Shamlin, executive VP, global head of entertainment at Media Monks.

During the show , Shaq and the performers will be on a center stage surrounded by a roller rink, basketball court and main stage, featuring a marching band, cheerleaders, skaters, hoopers and fans. Viewers will be able to replicate the dance-offs on the show on a virtual dance floor.

“This year we’re ringing in 2023 with new experiences and connections,” said O’Neal. “I’m excited to celebrate with some of my favorite artists and athletes in a way that you can enjoy with friends and family in VR across the world. From music, laughs and much more, we’re celebrating New Year’s Eve and welcoming 2023 with a spectacular party you won’t want to miss!” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.