The NBA Plans to Experiment with VR Streaming This Season

The NBA announced it plans to stream at least one game each week this season in virtual reality. Available only to NBA League Pass subscribers, the VR streaming will debut October 27 when the Sacramento Kings take on the San Antonio Spurs. “Initially, they will only be accessible by people who own a Samsung smartphone and a Samsung Gear VR headset,” reports The Wall Street Journal, “but the plan is to make the games viewable on other types of VR devices later in the season.” The league, which “plans to have a distinct production crew and even announcing team for the VR broadcasts,” partnered with NextVR to develop an app for accessing the games in virtual reality. Continue reading The NBA Plans to Experiment with VR Streaming This Season

NBA, Oculus Release 25-Minute VR “Story of the NBA Finals’

Oculus, the NBA and a production company called m ss ng p eces (as in “missing pieces”) just released a 25-minute virtual reality film, “Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals.” About the dramatic game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the film, narrated by actor Michael B. Jordan, is the NBA’s first major VR effort. Previously, in early 2015, the NBA worked with Samsung to create 360-degree videos, and the Cavaliers’ LeBron James starred in a VR short produced by Felix & Paul. Continue reading NBA, Oculus Release 25-Minute VR “Story of the NBA Finals’

Twitter to Live-Stream ‘Thursday Night Football’ for First Time

Twitter won a bidding war to live-stream NFL games in a $10 million deal inked in April. Now, this Thursday, the social media company will stream the first such match-up of the 10-game deal, seen as an effort by chief executive Jack Dorsey to revive the company’s dwindling support from advertisers. Viewers can watch the live CBS feed on Twitter’s mobile app and website, with the added value of in-the-moment tweets. Bank of America and Budweiser are two companies that will also stream commercials during the game. Continue reading Twitter to Live-Stream ‘Thursday Night Football’ for First Time

New FOX Sports GO Brings Multi-Screen Viewing to Apple TV

FOX Sports GO is now available on Apple TV, with a full slate of more than 3,000 live events, hundreds of hours of studio content and originals, and a variety of other features. Coverage includes NFL, MLB, UFC, NASCAR, Big 12 and Pac-12 Football, Big East Basketball, FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Champions League soccer. In some areas, viewers will be able to access hometown MLB, NBA and NHL telecasts. Fox previously had an iOS app, but Apple TV viewers will now be able to enjoy multi-screen viewing among other innovations. Continue reading New FOX Sports GO Brings Multi-Screen Viewing to Apple TV

Twitter Continues its Push to Become Live-Streaming Service

Twitter is looking to strengthen its status as a social destination for sports fans by striking deals with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League to host live video of games for users who are in out-of-market regions. The move follows a similar agreement with the National Football League that will bring “Thursday Night Football” to Twitter this fall, a partnership with the National Basketball Association to live-stream original programming (but not games), and deals with Pac-12 Networks and Campus Insiders to stream college sports during the 2016-2017 season. Continue reading Twitter Continues its Push to Become Live-Streaming Service

NBA Debuts Fan-Created Video Initiative Aimed at Millennials

The NBA, partnering with BroadbandTV (BBTV), has introduced a new multi-platform video initiative, NBA Playmakers. Aimed at millennials, the new online video network allows fans to make their own videos, with access to some NBA content and inclusion on a soon-to-launch YouTube channel. A video that draws a big audience or shows special talent will win its creator tickets, access to the NBA video team and other goodies. This initiative is the first foray that the league, with BBTV, plans to showcase high-quality fan content. Continue reading NBA Debuts Fan-Created Video Initiative Aimed at Millennials

NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

Starting next season, the NBA will let fans watch individual out-of-market games for $6.99 on smartphones, tablets and PCs, as well as from any cable or satellite provider that offers NBA’s League Pass. Providers such as AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon currently offer League Pass. A $120 package for all out-of-market games of an individual team will also be available. Although $6.99 per game is not exactly cheap, it may be a good deal for fans who want to watch a particular matchup, and costs only a fraction of League Pass. Continue reading NBA to Offer Individual Out-Of-Market Games for First Time

Yahoo Hosting Lucrative Daily and One-Week Fantasy Sports

Yahoo now hosts daily and one-week fantasy sports games, one of the most popular activities on the Internet, with an estimated 57 million fans in the U.S. and Canada. Yahoo, similar to other online destinations, has long hosted season-long fantasy sports but the daily segment has grown rapidly in the last two years. Yahoo stands to make hundreds of millions in new revenue, say analysts. Two companies dominate the category: FanDuel and DraftKings, which are now drawing interest from big name investors. Continue reading Yahoo Hosting Lucrative Daily and One-Week Fantasy Sports

Periscope Streams Wimbledon But Is Banned at Tournament

Periscope both was and was not at Wimbledon this year. The tournament’s digital content team used Twitter’s live video broadcasting app to take fans on a Roger Federer-led walking tour of the facility. Federer also anchored Wimbledon’s Periscope feed of the matches at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But Wimbledon simultaneously banned attendees from using the live-streaming app in the stands. Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour wasn’t fazed by the seemingly contradictory move. “Their motivation is preserving the sanctity of play,” he said. Continue reading Periscope Streams Wimbledon But Is Banned at Tournament

DraftKings: Disney Investing in Online Fantasy Sports Business

Disney is reportedly investing $250 million in DraftKings Inc., a Boston-based online fantasy sports startup. DraftKings enables fans to play fantasy sports on a per-game basis with real money. As part of the deal, DraftKings has committed to spending more than $500 million in future advertising on ESPN’s platforms. While sports fans have enjoyed a variety of options for fantasy leagues from CBS, ESPN, Yahoo and others, the model involved tracking performances across an entire season — and did not involve playing for cash payouts. Continue reading DraftKings: Disney Investing in Online Fantasy Sports Business

NCAA March Madness Gets First Dedicated YouTube Channel

Under its deal with the NCAA, Turner Sports will manage a March Madness channel on YouTube for the tournament that kicks off March 17. This marks the first official YouTube channel dedicated solely to providing updates of the NCAA basketball tournament. The channel will feature highlights and recaps from all 67 games in addition to news, analysis and press conferences from CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. However, sports fans that want to watch entire games from the tournament online will require a pay TV subscription. Continue reading NCAA March Madness Gets First Dedicated YouTube Channel

NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

Turner Sports announced that NCAA March Madness Live set a new record with 69.7 million live video streams collectively across platforms. The 2014 tournament’s live video streams were up 42 percent compared to the previous year. NCAA March Madness Live — in partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports — netted 15 million hours of live video consumed, which is also a new all-time record. Live streams via tablets and smartphones were up 71 percent this year. Continue reading NCAA Tournament Marks New Record for Live Video Streaming

Twitter Introduces In-Line Video to Make Watching Clips Easier

Twitter rolled out a new platform this week for hosting video that provides iPhone and Android smartphone users with image previews of video clips in their feeds. “In-line video” allows users to play the clips with a simple click. The company has been working with TV networks and video producers over the past year to make watching video clips — such as sports highlights and show previews — easier for Twitter users. The new feature marks the biggest change to tweets since the automatic preview of photos was introduced. Continue reading Twitter Introduces In-Line Video to Make Watching Clips Easier

Google Glass Views Could Join Sports Broadcasting Efforts

The possibility of 360-degree sports coverage using Google Glass is expected to be a hot topic this week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. As sales of wearable technology have skyrocketed in just the past couple of years — almost 300 percent in 2012 alone — such technology’s potential is being tapped by developers and sports fans alike. The latest idea is to be able to broadcast dozens of perspectives of Google Glass wearers during the same event. Continue reading Google Glass Views Could Join Sports Broadcasting Efforts

Fox Takes On ESPN Saturday with Launch of Sports Channels

Tomorrow morning, the Speed and Fuel networks will be transformed into the much-hyped Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels, in a move intended to compete with ESPN. Fox has landed deals with college conferences Pac-12 and Big 12 football and basketball, Big East basketball, NASCAR, the UFC, Major League Baseball, World Cup soccer and, most recently, the U.S. Open golf championship. The TV everywhere companion app Fox Sports Go will not launch concurrently, as it continues its testing phase. Continue reading Fox Takes On ESPN Saturday with Launch of Sports Channels

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