There are two popular ways to watch the Super Bowl: In person, if you're lucky enough to score tickets and travel, or at home on TV, most likely surrounded by food and friends. This year, there's one more option: watching clips in virtual reality.
The new VR option is courtesy of a partnership between the national media outlet Fox Sports and LiveLike, an emerging VR platform dedicated to sports broadcasts. The Super Bowl VR coverage is offered through the Fox Sports VR app, which is available in iOS, Android and Gear VR-specific versions.
The app itself is free to download, but you'll have to enter credentials from your cable or satellite provider to access its content – this is not a way for cord-cutters to watch the big game without a traditional TV subscription.
You should also curb your expectations if you're imagining a full-length stream of the game with a field-side vantage point and a totally immersive experience. Instead, the app is expected to air selected game highlights at a slight delay, according to USA Today.
The app works with or without a mobile VR headset, either Google Cardboard or the Gear VR (sorry, no Daydream support). If you watch in VR, you'll find yourself in a virtual viewing suite with the clips up on a big screen, similar to the experience of watching Netflix on a headset. If you want to check out 360-degree videos, you'll have to watch them right from your phone, not in VR.
All in all, this take on the Super Bowl is shaping up to be an experiential investigation into broadcasting sports in VR, albeit a substantial one – the American football championship is expected to draw over a hundred million viewers. The Fox Sports VR app won't replace your Super Bowl party, but it could be a novel addition and a hint of things to come.
Source: Fox Sports VR