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NFL expands Google partnership for VR venture

The NFL has expanded a partnership with internet giant Google to allow viewers around the world to watch content from the American football league in virtual reality.

The league’s NFL Films division will produce a nine-part series featuring behind-the-scenes content about the lives of players, coaches and executives.

The first episode of the virtual reality series will be available to watch via the NFL channel on Google-owned video-sharing website YouTube on Thanksgiving Day.  Later this year, episodes will also be available via the NFL VR application, which has been designed for Daydream, Google’s mobile virtual reality offering.

The NFL experimented with VR last season, but the NFL Films production will be the first ever full sports series to be shown in the format.

“Virtual reality is an emerging platform that enables content experiences with a truly unique vantage point that brings fans closer to the game,” said Vishal Shah, senior vice-president of digital media at the NFL. “It’s an exciting new medium to explore as we look to evolve and grow our offerings, and this partnership with Google is an important step in that direction.”

The NFL and YouTube have been partners since 2015. Since launching its official YouTube channel last year, the platform has attracted more than one billion views.