NBA-Meta deal to power fans’ VR experience


NBA with own VR Meta experience Image: Meta

The National Basketball Association (NBA) (US) and the technology company Meta have announced a multiyear partnership that will feature a new virtual reality (VR) experience for fans through Meta Horizon Worlds via Meta Quest, the official VR headset of the NBA and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

‘Digital TV Europe’ stated that the NBA Arena in Horizon Worlds will feature live NBA League Pass games in virtual reality throughout the season. The partnership extension will also include the launch of NBA-licensed apparel in the Meta Avatars Store and authenticated NBA League Pass access in Xtadium, a VR sports hub app that offers shared watching experiences in high-definition.

New York (US)-based the National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. It is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.

New York City (US)-based the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is an American professional basketball league. It is composed of 12 teams, all based in the United States. The league was founded on April 22nd, 1996 as the women’s counterpart to the National Basketball Association (NBA), and league play started in 1997.

Meta is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California, US. The company owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, among other products and services. Meta was once one of the world’s most valuable companies, but as of 2022 is not one of the top 20 biggest companies in the United States.

Horizon Worlds (formerly Facebook Horizon) is a free virtual reality, online video game with an integrated game creation system developed and published by Meta Platforms. On this multiplayer virtual platform, players move and interact with each other in various worlds that host events, games and social activities.

Said Jennifer Chun, NBA Executive Vice-President (EVP) and Head of Content Partnerships, “Our extended partnership with Meta will provide more immersive and innovative ways to experience the NBA. Meta’s digital world opens up exciting possibilities for NBA fans to virtually attend our games and to interact with other fans around the world.”

Added Rob Shaw, Meta Director of Sports Media and League Partnerships, “Meta’s VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage with NBA teams. The NBA is always pushing us to innovate and leverage the latest technology to open the door to new fan experiences, and this chapter of our partnership achieves that.”

‘Digital TV Europe’ further stated that the NBA and Meta will bring 52 live NBA League Pass games, including five immersive 180-degree monoscopic live VR games in 2880 resolution, to the NBA Arena in Horizon Worlds. Fans can visit the NBA Arena to watch NBA content with friends, compete in interactive mini-games and cheer on their favorite teams. The NBA deal follows a similar partnership that Meta recently entered with the mixed martial arts (MMA) franchise Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

The mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from various combat sports from around the world.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. It is owned and operated by Zuffa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Endeavor Group Holdings. It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world as of 2011.

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