The annual NFL championship game is one of the most watched events in all of television. The Super Bowl draws huge crowds for the game and equally for the commercials alone. Broadcasting partners are looking to add virtual reality options this year in hopes of drawing even bigger audiences. And while Super Bowl LI (51) won't the first major sports event broadcast in VR, it is a first for the NFL. The MLS cup and various college football games have been broadcast in VR in the past.
The whole game won't be streamed in VR, but Fox and partner LiveLike will feature about 20 top highlights in VR compatible with Gear VR and Google's Cardboard. Four of the top plays each quarter will be shown in near real time, so you can watch the game as usual and then strap in your headset to watch replays from different angles if you wanted to. NRG Stadium in Houston has been outfitted with six special cameras in the press box, end zones, and on rolling carts to capture the action.
Viewers can watch on the Fox Sports VR mobile app (cable subscription required) where viewers will be placed in a virtual 'suite' where they can watch the highlights from six different angles. Full 360-degree coverage will also be available on phones without a headset.
While not intended to replace your annual Super Bowl party or traditional sports coverage, it's definitely a positive step forward in the adoption of VR.