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NCAA Final Four will be broadcast in virtual reality for the first time

broadcast in virtual reality

In summary

Watch the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament for the first time broadcast in Virtual Reality. Experience how it feels to be at the game in the comfort of your own home.

The NCAA has decided to broadcast in virtual reality the most important part of this year’s college basketball tournament, the Final Four, in virtual reality, for the first time.

Presented as a partnership between the NCAA, CBS and Oculus, the live stream event will be produced by VR production house Voke.

The decision to broadcast the biggest college basketball event in VR comes just a couple of weeks after Fox Sports did the same thing (with a different VR firm) for the Big East tournament.

In the case of the Final Four VR stream, users will be able to use the Samsung Gear VR along with the NCAA March Madness Live VR app (available in the Oculus store).

In addition to the game action, users will also be treated to a virtual scoreboard (a shortcoming in past VR sports broadcasts) and live game stats.

samsung gear vr users broadcast in virtual reality
Samsung Gear VR users during the February’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. Photograph: JOAN CROS, NURPHOTO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

However, just because the format will be different, that doesn’t mean viewers will have to miss any of the event’s normal flavor, as the VR version will include live commentary from Jim Nantz, former NBA star Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson, just like the normal television broadcast.

If you don’t have the Samsung Gear VR, you can still get a small sense of what the immersive experience is like since the NCAA will also live stream 180-degree versions of the game for desktop computers via its Facebook page.

The Final Four will begin on April 2 at 3 p.m. ET.



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