NBCU & Samsung Align for VR Coverage from Rio 2016


STAMFORD: NBC Olympics has entered into an exclusive pact with Samsung for virtual reality coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The VR content will be offered exclusively to authenticated users of compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones with Samsung Gear VR via the NBC Sports app. NBC Olympics will deliver 85 hours of VR coverage, captured by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, men’s basketball, gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, diving, boxing and fencing, as well as highlight packages of those sports. The VR content will be delivered on a delayed basis.

“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,” said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics. “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.”

“Fans of the Olympics will now get to experience the world’s best athletes as they compete in some of the most popular events of Rio 2016 in a whole new way: through virtual reality,” said Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung Electronics America. “We are thrilled to work with NBC and OBS on this first-of-its-kind endeavor, connecting fans right to the action in Rio, powered by 360-degree storytelling, virtual reality and our Galaxy phones.”

“VR technology carries incredible potential for the sports broadcast industry, offering a truly immersive user experience,” said Yiannis Exarchos, OBS CEO. “Our first test in Lillehammer, together with Samsung, for the Winter Youth Olympic Games, was highly successful and we look forward to further exploring this exciting technology with NBC in Rio. VR has the power to enable hundreds of millions of people around the world to have a real sense of presence and participation in the most universal celebration of humanity, which is the Olympic Games.”