Samsung is beefing up the content offerings for its VR Live Pass on Gear VR through new live entertainment partnerships with the UFC, X Games and Live Nation.
Through the deals, Samsung will be able to livestream select live events through the Samsung VR app starting in early June. In addition, Samsung said it has expanded its global presence to 45 countries.
Up first, Samsung will stream live in VR the June 3 UFC fight featuring UFC featherweight champion José Aldo and interim UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway. In July, Samsung will stream X Games Minneapolis. In August, Samsung is promising a livestream of a concert featuring an “international artist.”
“We are excited to offer Samsung Gear VR users the opportunity to experience their favorite live music and sporting events through our industry-leading VR ecosystem,” said Younghee Lee, CMO and executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “Partnering with these companies to expand our VR services helps us to open up a new gateway of opportunities for fans and demonstrate our commitment to delivering experiences that make the seemingly impossible, possible.”
“We’ve always felt that the potential of combining UFC events with virtual reality would give our fans the ultimate enhanced experience,” said UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein in the statement. “We’re excited to partner with Samsung on this game-changing initiative to further revolutionize how fight fans consume our content and live events around the world.”
As Samsung continues to expand live VR content availability for its platform, it is working with other companies to help foster and grow the VR hardware ecosystem. The company recently helped form the new Global Virtual Reality Association. GVRA members currently include Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC Vive, Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung and Sony Interactive Entertainment.
“The organization will foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders in VR around the world and make education and training material available to the public,” the GVRA said on its website. “Working groups will be organized around important topics for the industry, enabling us to produce relevant research and guidance. We will also host and participate in international discussions on important topics in VR to shape the public discussion on the technology. Ultimately, the group will develop best practices and share them openly.”