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Posted February 17, 2016

FOX Sports, NextVR sign multi-year deal to develop virtual reality offerings

NextVR, the leader in live-action virtual reality broadcast technology, and FOX Sports will begin a five-year partnership offering fans live, virtual reality coverage of the nation's top sporting events.
By FOX Sports Staff

NextVR, the leader in live-action virtual reality broadcast technology, and FOX Sports will begin a five-year partnership offering fans live, virtual reality coverage of the nation's top sporting events.

This partnership to broadcast live sports in virtual reality is the first of its kind and will include a range of top sporting events where FOX Sports holds the broadcast rights. In January, NextVR and FOX Sports showcased the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) matches in virtual reality, and now will focus on Sunday's Daytona 500, televised nationally on FOX (noon ET).

"We have worked with FOX Sports for over a year to test live, virtual reality programming across several sports," said Brad Allen, executive chairman, NextVR. "This wide-ranging agreement is proof that our technology provides an exciting and compelling option to witness great sporting events in virtual reality."

Racing enthusiasts who experience FOX Sports' coverage of the Daytona 500 in virtual reality will feel as if they are watching the race amongst the fans at the track. The immersive, high-definition virtual reality broadcast will bring fans to the starting line, the middle of the infield and with team racing crews as they change tires on pit row. The live virtual stream includes audio commentary and graphics highlighting the race leaders.

"It's all about delivering something new and exciting for our viewers," said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports president, COO & executive producer. "Virtual reality is the next great frontier in immersive experiences for fans across a wide variety of sports. It's a rapidly changing technology, and this deal with NextVR positions us to be on the front lines for years to come."

FOX Sports and NextVR have tested live virtual reality broadcasts in 2015 at the Auto Club 400 NASCAR race in Fontana, Calif., and the United States Open Golf Championship from Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
Future virtual reality programming on FOX Sports will be announced soon and available on the NextVR portal, including within a dedicated FOX Sports section.

How to watch the FOX Sports Daytona 500 experience in virtual reality
FOX Sports' Daytona 500 virtual reality broadcast will be available free through the NextVR portal. Samsung Gear VR owners can download the NextVR app on any Gear VR headset compatible phones. For detailed instructions, go to

Posted January 17, 2016

USOC working with more sophisticated sports technology

By: Stephen Hobbs 

Battery life issues, limited wireless technology range and the weight of sensors inhibited the use of wearable technologies to track elite athletes.

But in the past few years, smart watches, heart rate monitors, glucose level recorders and items as small as an ear piece have begun to transform how top athletes are trained, said Mounir Zok, a senior sports technologist at the Colorado Springs-based U.S. Olympic Committee.

"Today we are at a sweet spot," he said. "Whereby measuring performance is not an issue anymore."

Zok said he works with several teams including the U.S. diving, gymnastic, rowing, bmx and Paralympic track and field programs, to use technology to monitor athlete training and performance. Sensors, ankle bracelets, sleep-tracking tools and other devices that can be installed in sports-specific equipment are some of the items used.

The laboratory-like conditions of a velodrome make it an ideal environment for Andy Sparks, director of track cycling programs for USA Cycling, to test new devices.

"At the end of the day, you want to be lining up at the Olympic Games saying there's no stone left unturned or no box I haven't checked," he said.

Sparks said the continuous data collection can help make incremental differences over a year of training.

"For us, it's like a little sculpture. We're just chipping away," he said.

With a plethora of data, the sports national governing bodies under the USOC have athlete management systems to keep track of the information. Teams can use their own program or a USOC system, Zok said. Having these management systems allow coaches and trainers to incorporate the data they collect and have a single place to monitor individual athletes over time.

Sparks said he uses a program called TrainingPeaks.

While the devices and applications used to track athletes may record disparate things, Zok said he believes the next generation of sports technology will become more interconnected. He envisions athletes eventually training in a "smart environment" where real-time physical, mental and biomechanical information can be relayed to coaches and trainers.

"In an ideal world, and this is where technology is going and this is beauty of working in sports technology today, we would want the coaches to be able to look at an athlete from a holistic perspective," he said. "This is where we are heading to, where all of the sports world is heading to."

Posted January 15, 2016

CBS Sports To Debut New Camera Technology For Super Bowl 50

The most watched television event in the U.S. is growing even larger. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home to the San Francisco 49ers, will play host to the NFL’s annual championship game on Feb. 7th. And great news for fans came when CBS Sports announced this week plans to unveil new camera technology throughout the stadium for the audience of Super Bowl 50.

Last year’s game registered 114.4 million people watching in the United States; breaking it’s own record from the previous year and that number is expected to increase for 2016.

This year, CBS Sports will look to improve the proceedings of the big game by implementing thirty-six cameras strung along the top deck of the stadium to create a 360-degree perspective for instant-replay shots. These cameras will also provide a first person point-of-view from the quarterback position; a first of it’s kind. This is significant as well for the referee’s, who will have every angle provided to them during replays and challenges on the field.

“We tried it on a couple regular-season games and it looks remarkable,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said Tuesday at a gathering of TV critics.

Additionally, CBS will use 16 cameras inside eight pylons in the end zones, better known as “pylon cams,” with embedded microphones to capture natural game sounds. These new elements were used last Monday during the College Football Playoff championship between Clemson and Alabama and rightfully received high praise.

The television network will also incorporate the use of NFL’s Next Gen stats, which tracks player movement and provides real-time matchup statistics during the broadcast.

During competition, 70 cameras in all will be on hand to capture the event with 12 production trucks handling the feeds.

Posted December 13, 2015

UEFA to decide on goal line technology in January
Published December 12, 2015 8:40pm

European governing body UEFA will decide in January whether to use goal line technology in continental competitions, general secretary Gianni Infantino said on Friday.

"This has been on the table for quite some time. It was discussed in depth today and we decided that a decision on the use would be taken in January at the next executive committee meeting," Infantino told a news conference after an executive committee in western Paris.

"There is a positive attitude towards that. Then there are practical aspects. If we go for the goal line technology, it will be for the top competitions next season.

"There are logistical challenges."

Goal line technology is currently used in the English Premier League, the French Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and was also utilised at the World Cup in Brazil last year. - Reuters- See more at:
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