America’s National Hockey League today announced a new VR video experience, captured during last weekend’s NHL All-Star Game, which is now available via the NextVR app. The league is further promising more VR highlights to come from “select 2019 NHL marquee events.”
Available today via the NextVR app on every major VR platform, NHL is releasing a VR video highlight reel from the All-Star Game, an exhibition match up featuring top talent from the hockey league. The event was hosted last weekend in San Jose, CA, and marks roughly the halfway point of the NHL season.
NextVR is a leading producer of broadcast-focused VR video content, and shoots some of the top quality live-action content viewable in any VR headset, typically consisting of stereoscopic 180 degree footage up to 60 FPS. The company was on hand to capture highlights from the All-Star Game, and the footage is now available globally for free in a new NHL channel within the NextVR app.
And that new channel also heralds more NHL content to come from NextVR, the companies say. While specifics have yet to be revealed, “VR post game highlights from some of the NHL’s biggest events” is purportedly forthcoming. And though NHL’s VP of Business Development, Chris Golier, says that the VR content will make “[fans feel like they are at a live NHL game,” so far no plans have been announced to stream full NHL games in VR, live or on-demand.
And while NextVR produces some content which makes its way to the social-enabled Oculus Venues app, this particular NHL content is currently only available through the company’s own NextVR app which lacks any social functionality.
The announcement with the NHL is good news for NextVR which has been in the VR space since the very beginning—and has repeatedly snagged opportunities to produce VR video content with top sports leagues—but has struggled to find real traction with its content. Earlier this month the company laid off a significant portion of its workforce, saying that it was “staffed for a pretty explosive growth curve” which didn’t pan out as expected.