NFL, Google partnering on exclusive virtual reality series

Google's Daydream VR headset. Image: Google

The NFL and Google announced they’ll be working together on a nine-part 360-degree virtual reality series.

Produced by NFL Films, the series will follow players, coaches, executives, cheerleaders, and fans on gameday.

The first episode of the series will be available to watch via the NFL channel on YouTube on Thanksgiving Day.  According to a press release, episodes will also be available via the NFL VR app designed for Google Daydream “along with other immersive content experiences” later this year.

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“We are always looking for new ways to engage with our fans. Virtual reality is an emerging platform that enables content experiences with a truly unique vantage point that brings fans closer to the game,” said Vishal Shah, senior vice president of Digital Media at the NFL, in a statement. “It’s an exciting new medium to explore as we look to evolve and grow our offerings, and this partnership with Google is an important step in that direction.”

The series is currently in production and it’s being shot using Jump, Google’s 360-degree camera and capture system. In the first episode will focus on a week’s worth of preparation for the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line and provide footage of the Eagles bench and sideline on game day. The NFL said other episodes will focus on the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, the football culture in Green Bay, and a look inside the San Diego Chargers organization.

As Recode points out, the deal with Google is exclusive so the series won’t be available for platform’s like Samsung’s Gear VR or Facebook’s Oculus.

RELATED: NBA, NextVR to livestream weekly NBA games in VR

The NFL’s VR series comes as other leagues are beginning to ramp up content production for VR. Last month, NBA Digital and NextVR announced an expansion of their partnership which will see weekly NBA games broadcast live in VR for NBA League Pass customers using Samsung’s VR headset.

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