Watching a sporting event live in person and watching it on the TV are very totally different experiences, however, sometimes tickets can be too expensive, sold out, or the venue is held somewhere far. But, this is something that Samsung is hoping to address with virtual reality.
Samsung has tied up Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to deliver live mixed martial arts action to VR headsets, in a way of VR Live Pass on Gear VR. The X Games event will be broadcast in VR beginning on July 13, the Live Nation events will come in August, and the José Aldo versus Max Holloway UFC fight will be aired for free to Gear VR users on June 3 live from Brazil.
According to a source, UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein stated "We've always felt that the potential of combining UFC events with virtual reality would give our fans the ultimate enhanced experience." As a part of the Samsung's initiative to live stream sporting events in VR, the Korean firm has also revealed that the UFC 212 event in Brazil will be the first sporting event to be live streamed on this weekend.
However, the show is only accessible to those that have signed up to Samsung's VR Live Pass and for the moment at least, there are no plans to offer the main event in full VR to US consumers. Furthermore, Gear VR is currently available in 45 countries, according to the announcement. Epstein also added, "We are excited to partner with Samsung on this game-changing initiative to further revolutionize how fight fans can consume our content and live events all around the world."
And as virtual reality continues to improve and camera technology develops, we can imagine there'll only be more cool opportunities to strap on a headset and become immersed in live sports from the comfort of your own couch.