Facebook has signed a multiyear deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) which makes Oculus an official marketing and VR headset partner of the NBA, Women’s NBA (WNBA) and NBA G League.
Oculus is now considered ‘the presenting partner’ of the NBA Rail Cam Replay on ESPN, ABC and TNT, which will now be called ‘Oculus Front Row View’. The newly-dubbed Oculus Front Row View is a mobile table-mounted camera that captures the action as it moves up and down the court.
In addition to its Oculus Venues coverage, accessible through NBA League Pass on Quest and Go, the company also says the new camera angle will be “just one of the many ways the NBA and Oculus will provide an innovative experience for fans watching games at home.”
The marketing deal coincides with the start of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. You can check out the full NBA VR schedule here, accessible via Oculus Venues for Quest and Go.
“This partnership furthers our ongoing commitment to engage with fans of the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League in new and innovative ways,” said Julie Morris, Vice President of Media & Business Development at the NBA. “Together with Oculus, we will create new experiences for our fans while also bringing them closer to the action through Oculus’ state-of-the-art VR devices.”
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NextVR, which was acquired by Apple earlier this year, previously held exclusive rights to streaming NBA games and replays in immersive 3D 180 degree video. Those licensing rights had fallen to Yahoo Sports and the VR production team RYOT, which covered 13 seeding games up until August 12th. Now it seems Facebook will not only be taking over that role, but also expanding it with the addition of marketing for the WBNA and NBA G League.
In addition NBA finals coverage, Oculus will have a presence throughout both ESPN Wide World of Sports and IMG Academy as the 2019-20 NBA season and 2020 WNBA season continues in Orlando and Bradenton, Florida.
The deal brings Oculus signage to games as well as Oculus Quest headsets to NBA and WNBA players.