‘NCAA March Madness Live VR’ Let’s You Watch the Courtside Action for $2


The dream of watching live sports courtside from the comfort of your home through VR is steadily becoming a reality. Oculus and Intel have teamed up with Turner Sports and CBS to stream six March Madness games live in VR, with prices starting at just $2.

The NCAA March Madness Live VR app returns for the 2017 basketball tournament which determines the national champion for the season. Gear VR users will be able to download the app and purchase access to watch six games live in VR. Sadly the app isn’t available on the Rift or any other VR headsets.

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Here’s the coverage lineup, according to Oculus:

You’ll be able to watch six live VR games as March Madness heats up—with West Region coverage of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight available in VR for the very first time. Here’s the full schedule of coverage:

  • March 23 – Both Regional Semi-Final Games in San Jose
  • March 25 – Regional Finals in San Jose
  • April 1 – Both Final Four Match-Ups in Phoenix
  • April 3 – Championship Game in Phoenix

Silver tickets start at $2 per game, which will get you “an amazing single-camera courtside view with featured commentary from the CBS broadcast. Gold tickets for $3 per game (or $8 for all six games) “let fans watch fully produced VR coverage with multiple camera angles and dedicated game commentary specific to the VR experience.”

With or without a ticket you’ll also be able to tune in to highlight from all six games.

This season the NCAA March Madness Live VR app has seen an overhaul which brings a bracket view to keep track of the tournaments progression, as well as 2D highlight videos, stats, and a virtual shot chart. You can even pick your favorite team to decorate the locker room environment with their colors and logos, complete with the jersey of your MVP hanging on display.

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  • Bryan Ischo

    Is this stereoscopic or is it just 360 degree video?

    • John

      Its stereo 360

      • Bryan Ischo

        Stereo 360? Wow that’s incredible. I thought the state of the art was mono 360 or stereo 180. That’s super cool.

  • Dan

    Not sure if I understand the article it says that oculus and intel are working on this but you can only use gear vr.

    • NooYawker

      I noticed the same thing. Maybe they should ask oculus why they’re working on something and it’s not on the oculus. I know oculus has a gearvr section in their store. Maybe $2 isn’t worth it for them to get it working on the oculus? Or maybe the live vr video looks like crap and they don’t want it on the oculus.

      • John

        Well GearVR is developed by Oculus and use their Ecosystem fully.
        Focusing on Gear with its millions of “normal” consumers is alot better than aiming at quite a bit fewer enthusiasts with Rifts. Still it would be great to use Rift too of course. But the slightly higher res in the GearVR (1280×1440 per eye) vs Rift/Vive (1080×1200 per eye) works pretty good for this kind of events.

        • dotsmada

          I wonder what extra effort it takes to have it work on both, or if it’s due to some lame exclusivity deal. That is what I want Oculus to tell us.

          • hsabrey

            it of course will need a lot of development. such an idea is multi-casting which will need specific systems thus deploying such a system only for Rift is not worthy. strategically deploying a system for massive users will validate the system and its stability, meantime keeping an eye focused on what it takes to migrate to RIFT and Vive too.

          • dotsmada

            A TV broadcast can be sent to any type of TV, regardless of size or resolution. Hopefully one day a 360 (or 180) live stream will eventually be standardized so that it doesn’t matter what headset you are using. To my simple mind it would seem a PC could take that live stream that was set up for the GearVR and format it appropriately using an app and allow for watching it on the Rift. Doesn’t seem that far fetched but maybe I’m wrong.

  • NooYawker

    They should put camera in middle of the court and the players have to avoid falling over it.

  • wcalderini

    As usual, I think they are missing a Golden opportunity here by not opening it up to all platforms. I have both a Vive and a Rift. I bought both because I wanted to take advantage of WHATEVER came along VR wise. (Hey, it’s my new THING). It just sucks that I would have to abandon my whole phone/tablet ecosystem to take advantage of these exclusives. (And this is not a FiRST either, there have been other sport/event opportunities that would have gotten some of my dollars.) Wide adoption is the key, and I think if it says OCULUS anywhere near it, you should be able to view it on a rift.

  • Freethinker

    CBS HAS CONPLETELY SUCKED at providing a quality viewing experience by denying ON DEMAND – substituting LIVE ONLY – thereby short changing both subscribers & shareholders by chasing pennies on the dollar while limiting viewing options effectively squandering their credibility as a legitimate sports network.

    I would pay $$ for a full suite of cable & internet services and would happily PAY more to view MM games ON DEMAND. Where is that premium service? Btw if I lived in Europe I could sign up for free ON DEMAND viewing with my current stateside subscriptions, but for some reason I’m prevented from doing so in the states.

    Viewing CBS MM online LIVE and reviewing game highlights is like surfing through advertisements at a 1920s nickel arcade, alternating between repetitive commercials and slices of action. The worst of capitalism on display, bad for consumers and bad for shareholders. How many 1,000s of MM enthusiasts like me would pay $40? If it’s more then a 100,000 CBS should sack their entire sports network staff.

    CBS is exhibiting the worst characteristics of capitalism, nickel & diming consumers, limiting viewing options, short changing stockholders, and killing their golden goose.
    Shame on them!