Meta has announced that the company is showing more than 50 live NBA games in virtual reality (VR) on Meta Quest. This will include five in immersive, 180-degree VR.
Now, users can watch more than 50 upcoming games in XTADIUM and Meta Horizon Worlds on Meta Quest. In the future, fans will be able to watch even more content in the app with an NBA League Pass subscription.
While XTADIUM is only available in the US, Meta Horizon Worlds is currently available to people aged 18 and above in the US, Canada, the UK, Iceland, Ireland, France and Spain on Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro.
What does this expanded partnership mean for fans?
Of the 50+ games that will be shown on Meta Quest, five will feature celebrity broadcasters and will be shown in 180-degree immersive VR. On top of this, WNBA games, NBA G League games and NBA 2K League games will also be available to watch. Plus, in Meta Horizon Worlds, viewers will be able to access game highlights, recaps and archival content.
Today, viewers can visit this dedicated arena and watch games with friends, compete in interactive mini-games and cheer on their favourite team.
Added to this, Meta is also partnering with the league in order to launch NBA-licenced apparel. This will become available in the Meta Avatar Store in the coming weeks. As part of this, fans will be able to purchase team apparel for their avatar and showcase it across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and on Meta Quest.
Why does this matter?
In expanding its partnership with the NBA and WNBA, Meta is aiming to become a one-stop shop for NBA fans. After all, US-based users can now watch NBA League Pass in XTADIUM, hang out with friends and play mini-games in Worlds, or express their pride in their team across Meta’s apps.
On top of this, this move from Meta is the latest example of a tech giant getting involved in sports broadcasting. After all, earlier this month, we commented on Google’s new partnership with the NFL. At the end of last year, news broke that Apple had formed a partnership with the MLS.
As a result, we can see Meta’s expanded partnership with the NBA and WNBA as being synonymous with an industry-wide trend. However, with various US sports now aligning with different tech giants (basketball with Meta, soccer with Apple and American football with Google), what this means for fans remains to be seen.
If these fans need to have multiple subscriptions with different providers to watch their favourite teams (as happens in the UK with Premier League fans who need Sky, BT and Amazon subscriptions), then watching live sport could start to cost a lot more. However, the interactive viewing experiences offered by these tech giants could be revolutionary and may transform the sports broadcasting space.Author spike.digital