- Intel and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced a three-year partnership to bring free live and on-demand virtual reality (VR) content to baseball fans via the Intel True VR App starting this season, per a press release.
- Intel will live stream a weekly out-of-market game every Tuesday on the app along with post-game highlights and on-demand replays of each game. As part of the user experience, fans can switch-up their view of the games with up to four camera angles and access real-time player and team statistics throughout the game.
- The immersive VR live stream aims to give fans the experience and excitement of being at the ballpark, James Carwana, general manager, Intel Sports Group, said in the release, noting that the live stats give fans more control over personalizing the experience.
While virtual gaming has appeared to be the most popular sector for VR content to date, live sports might eventually prove to be the "killer app" that gets more mainstream consumers interested in the technology, especially with the ability to integrate additional live media elements like real-time statistics.
For brands, those integrations could extend to things like interactive virtual billboards or signage, along with more straightforward ads. The MLB is pushing into new, innovative content frontiers, especially as it looks to attract more young eyeballs. It recently signed on to live stream 20 games via Facebook this season, echoing similar moves the NFL has made with both Twitter and now Amazon Prime. It also recently debuted VR features to accompany live-streaming broadcasts on the league's At Bat mobile app.
Samsung is also betting on professional sports to be a better driver of VR adoption, announcing a new programming slate earlier this week that includes UFC fights and X Games events.