Fox Sports streaming Super Bowl LI from virtual reality suite

Image: USA Today Sports / Reuters

Super Bowl LI viewers can get a closer look at the game this year without actually forking over money for tickets by watching from the stadium suite in the Fox Sports virtual reality app.

The authenticated smartphone app works on its own, offering a 360-degree view, or in a virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.

In addition to the view from the suite, Fox Sports says its VR app allows viewers to “teleport” down to several on-the-field VR camera positions. During breaks in the live game, viewers can watch VR highlights or other content in the FOX Sports GO Theater.

RELATED: Super Bowl LI getting player POV replays

The VR suite for the Super Bowl marks the latest bit of technology experimentation that Fox Sports is employing in an effort to enhance the experience of watching the big game.

Earlier this month, the Fox Sports Lab Initiative announced a partnership with Intel to make a “Be the Player” player POV instant replay feature available during the game.

“We tasked Intel to push their amazing Intel 360 Replay technology to the limit of what it could do, using their array of cameras circling the stadium to synthesize a player’s view on the field,” said Michael Davies, senior vice president of field and technical operations at Fox Sports, in a statement. “The cameras, backed up by a huge bank of Intel computing power, allow a moment to be recreated in 3D space, so that a ‘virtual camera’ can be placed at the player’s eye line—not unlike how limitless camera views can be created in video games.”

Suggested Articles

Alan Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst at TV[R]EV, explores what vMVPDs like YouTube TV need to do as their prices approach legacy cable levels.

In the event of a recession, consumers may consider watching streaming video “an austerity measure” compared to other entertainment choices.

Pluto TV, Tubi, Netflix and other streaming video services saw big spikes in viewership during earlier coronavirus-related lockdowns.