Olympics 2016 Gear VR

The 2016 Summer Olympics are right around the corner, and while most of us are probably not fortunate enough to be able to travel to Brazil and watch the games in person, NBC will be offering viewers the next best thing with virtual reality content that will be available through the NBC Sports app.

According to NBC, the network will offer up to 85 hours of virtual reality Olympics coverage through its app. The footage will be posted on a delay, but it will include some of the most-watched events of the Olympics, including the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as popular competitions like gymnastics, beach volleyball and men’s basketball.

“The world’s greatest sporting event is always a showcase for cutting edge technology, and we’re thrilled to partner with Samsung and OBS to bring our viewers even closer to compelling Olympic action with virtual reality,” Gary Zenkel, President of NBC Olympics, said in a statement. “Olympic fans can be transported to iconic venues such as Maracana Stadium for an unprecedented view of the Opening Ceremony, and Copacabana Beach for an immersive beach volleyball experience in the sport’s ultimate setting.”

Unfortunately, NBC’s VR content will not be available for just any platform. In fact, it will be exclusively available on Samsung Gear VR, so both the owners of low-end VR devices like Google Cardboard and the owners of high-end devices like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive will be out of luck. Users will also need to authenticate their paid cable subscriptions through the app to be able to view the content, so cord cutters are also left out.

While these restrictions are unfortunate, neither are particularly surprising. After all, Samsung is “The Official Smartphone Partner of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” and NBC is…well, NBC.

Image courtesy of NBC Sports Group

Source: David, Eric. SiliconAngle