The Fox Sports division of US network Fox has partnered with technology company NextVR to introduce live streaming virtual reality content to the 2015 U.S. Open, which represents the broadcaster’s inaugural edition of the golf major.
Fox Sports’ first broadcast of the tournament kicks off today (Thursday) with VR viewership available to fans visiting select hospitality areas of Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington.
At the U.S. Open’s VIP tents, approximately 100-300 visitors daily will be offered NextVR's live virtual reality experience. Five camera rigs will be placed at premium vantage points around the course. Fans will have the ability to virtually visit the most active holes in real time. NextVR will also live stream the action to Fox Sports locations in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
U.S. Open 2015 highlights as well as other content will be included on the NextVR portal, which will be available on all virtual reality devices, including Oculus, Samsung and Sony products.
“Our ongoing efforts with NextVR are exactly the kind of relationships we are exploring with our new Fox Lab platform,” John Entz, Fox Sports president of production, said. “Virtual reality is most certainly delivering a new level of excitement to next-generation production possibilities and it will be great to gauge the reactions of the audiences who get to sample it at the U.S. Open this weekend on Fox.”
In August 2013, the United States Golf Association agreed a 12-year deal with Fox Sports for the broadcast rights to the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships. The agreement commenced this year and runs through 2026, granting Fox major championship golf for the first time ever.
Fox replaced the NBC network and sports broadcaster ESPN as the USGA’s principal domestic media partner.