The learning curve for those involved in the Virtual Reality side of TV sports, and the consumers who are trying to figure out how it enhances the experience, has been somewhat steady and steep since the concept first entered our collective radar.
Fox takes the next giant step forward by offering a VR viewing of Saturday’s MLS Cup — Seattle at Toronto, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11 — that includes the ability to show replays for the first time.
Fox, which has already partnered with Newport Beach-based NextVR on events at the Daytona 500, boxing, college basketball, the U.S. Open golf, soccer and Monster Jam trucks, will be with New York-based LiveLike for this MLS experience. LiveLike and Fox have done three college football games this past season — Ohio State-Oklahoma, Texas-Oklahoma and the Wisconsin-Penn State Big Ten Championship game.
The Sunday experiment includes having the FoxSportsVR app downloaded and authenticated on your iOS or Android device, and there is no need for a set of goggles, although that experience can be enabled on the app with Gear VR for Samsung Galaxy phones.
To every handful of stories we find that calls VR as shifting the paradigm and a real gamechanger, some are a little more hesitant about how it can be implemented, whether it takes away the communal viewing of sports or whether this is just an experiment like 3D-TV that just isn’t consumer viable.
There is a lot of upside to virtual reality as well as augmented reality viewing, which sometimes gets referred to as the same thing. The bottom line these day is trying to create a stadium VIP box experience for those watching a game at home, which virtual reality allows with its ability to see what you are seeing as your head and body move about in the process.
More on the Fox-MLS venture at this link.
After uploading the FoxSportsVR app, there are samples clips of how the experience has worked during a Stanford-Kansas State game as well as some UFC weigh-ins. The fun is shifting the phone around to see all the way around in a 360 motion. It might remind you of the old Disneyland Circle-Vision 360 theater that was in Tomorrowland.