The National Basketball Association (NBA) has sealed a deal to bring some of its games freely to the metaverse.
It has been reported that the company announced an extension of its current partnership with Meta to broadcast its games using VR (virtual reality) technology. The games will be broadcasted using Xtadium, a metaverse app that is used to broadcast immersive sports experiences using Meta’s consumer headset, the Meta Quest 2.
However, the league will present 52 games in Horizon Worlds, Meta’s flagship metaverse app, for users to enjoy and watch. Five of these games will be presented in a more immersive way, using 180-degree monoscopic tech. This means that the user will be able to experience the game as if they were sitting close to the court, changing the point of view as the match advances.
The report said that with this move, the league aims for existing fans to have a more interactive experience, and bring new fans that are familiarized with these new technologies to the sport.
Sarah Malkin, the Meta Director of Metaverse Media Content, stated:
“VR’s superpower is making it possible to immerse yourself in shared experiences with friends and fans from around the world, and we’re thrilled to bring these killer features to the NBA Arena and live games.”
Likewise, the NBA and Meta will also offer the opportunity for fans to purchase NBA-licensed apparel in Meta’s Avatars Store. These elements will be available across the family of Meta’s owned apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook.
Rob Shaw, the Meta Director of Sports Media and League Partnerships, said:
“Meta’s immersive VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage and interact with their favorite NBA teams. Fans will be able to express their fandom by donning their favorite team’s gear on Avatars and enjoy more live NBA games.”
Thus, the NBA has been very receptive to using new technologies to expand the reach of its activities. In partnership with Dapper Labs, the company launched NBA Top Shots back in 2020, a nonfungible token (NFT) video marketplace featuring moments, which are some of the most important plays in the story of the league. In September, the league partnered with Sorare, a fantasy game company, in order to create an NFT game.