How to take in the first virtual reality Super Bowl

Stub hub if offering one ticket to watch this weekend’s Super Bowl 51 game in Houston inside a luxury corporate suite for $18,000.

If, however, you want to keep that money in your bank account and get more or less the same experience through virtual reality, you can opt for Fox’s virtual reality broadcast instead.

The TV network has partnered with San Francisco-based LiveLive Inc., a virtual reality development company that focuses on presenting live sporting events for broadcasters.

Fox is the host broadcaster for Super Bowl 51, which will feature the four-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the upstart Atlanta Falcons at the NRG Stadium in Houston, while LiveLike has developed the virtual reality app for either the Apple iOS and the Android operating systems. The plan from LiveLike is to stream the best four moments from each quarter. The company has also, with Fox, prepared a pre-game highlight package and will deliver a post-game series of clips.

LiveLike has confirmed these highlight streams will be available moments after the play is over.

The Samsung Gear VR. (Image: Samsung).

The company is suggesting viewers use the Samsung Gear VR, developed in partnership with Oculus. One of the key features of the Gear VR is its ability give the viewer a 360 degree living room, full-screen experience.

And, the LiveLike/Fox VR broadcast is meant to be from the point of view of someone in a corporate box in the stadium that will include immersive angles.

Even if you don’t have the Gear VR system you can still watch the LiveLike stream on a smartphone, tablet or through any of the cardboard VR viewers available.

Fox is telling viewers interested in a VR experience that no special equipment is required for the 360-degree viewing experience. The game will be from a suite point of view with multiple on-the-field positions. Through the app a viewer will also get the rosters of both teams and other stats.

You can download the app from the Fox Sports mobile site. Click here to view the page.

One thing to note is the VR stream is not in real-time. The game kicks off around 6:30 PM Eastern.

There is also an augmented reality component to this as well. LiveLike has partnered with audio-visual software vendor Avid Technology to bring a mixed reality for sports viewers.

Through Keri Middleton’s blog, LiveLike co-founder Fabrice Lorenceau said that thanks to an integration of Avid’s 3DPlay solution from the Avid Studio Suite, LiveLike is now able to bring TV production opportunities into virtual environments. This includes viewers seeing the jumbotron scoreboard at the stadium, the view from a VIP lounge, replays and social media feeds from the game. Middleton is a field marketing manager for Avid in the UK.

Fox and LiveLike produced a virtual reality college football last year and in December showed the MLS Cup from Toronto in both virtual and augmented reality.

The VR college football game drew 37,000 viewers, but had a paywall.

LiveLike has received financing from several sources include tech VC Elysian Park Ventures and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Beyond Fox Sports, LiveLike also has a partnership with Sky Sports in the U.K. and the Manchester City soccer club.

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