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This Week In VR Sport: Major League Baseball and UEFA Football League

Major League Baseball gets VR-enhanced broadcasts and UEFA Champions League goes 360.

Things are always changing in the world of sport; rules change, player line-ups change, kit changes, venues changes it can be a bit much to keep up with sometimes. Technology can help fans get to grips with the changing face of sport, and VRFocus like to help by keeping you informed on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in sports.

BT Sport to Show Free 360-Degree Live Stream of UEFA Champions League Final

UK sport broadcaster BT Sport gained much praise last year by broadcasting the final of one of European Football’s biggest events, the UEFA Champions League Final, for free on YouTube. They are set to repeat that this year, with the addition of a 360-degree livestream that will also be available on YouTube and the BT Sport VR app.

Viewers watching the VR stream of the match between Real Madrid and Juventus on 3rd June 2017 will be able to choose between a 360-degree programme with commentary and graphics, or switch to a specific camera point at will.

BT’s chief executive John Petter said: “We believe that VR can offer our viewers an immersive second screen view which will enhance our coverage. We’re excited to be broadcasting what we believe to be the biggest multi-camera live 360° sporting event ever for the first time to our customers.”

YouTube’s senior director in EMEA, Stephen Nuttall said: “Our users love football, so we’re seriously excited to bring BT Sport’s ground-breaking coverage of these two massive games live on YouTube, for a second year running. Fans today expect quality content on every screen and this partnership delivers just that.”

A trailer for the UEFA livestream can be viewed below.

Major League Baseball Wil Be Getting VR-Enhanced Broadcasts

Fans of baseball will soon be getting a way to enhanced live-streamed games with VR features with an update to the MLB At Bat app, though the games themselves will not be available in 360-degree video.

The At Bat app will be updated with a new VR mode compatible with Google Daydream from 1st June 2017, that will allow fans to see live stats and score updates while watching games streamed live in HD quality. There will also be a selection of pre-recorded 360-degree videos available to watch through the app.

Unfortunately, the league have confirmed that games broadcast in 360-degree is still quite a ways, noting the challenge of getting 360-degree cameras to cover the baseball playing field, an area that can cover over 50,000 square feet.

The VR features in the At Bat are available to subscribers of MLB for free. TV Premium, which costs $24.99 a month, also includes access to the At Bat app. Support for VR platforms other than Google Daydream is expected to be added in the future.

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