Laguna Beach-based NextVR Inc. will broadcast virtual reality content in a five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
The deal is believed to be the first of its kind in the nascent VR segment and kicks off Feb. 21 with the Daytona 500, the first NASCAR event of its season.
The live virtual stream, which includes audio commentary and graphics highlighting race leaders, can be accessed free on the NextVR portal app and played through Samsung Gear VR headsets and compatible smartphones.
NextVR in January broadcast Fox Sports’ Premier Boxing Champions matches at Staples Center, marking the first live virtual-reality stream inside the ropes. Last year the two companies tested live virtual reality broadcasts at the Auto Club 400 NASCAR race in Fontana and the U.S. Open Golf Championship from Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
NextVR’s portal will add a dedicated Fox Sports section and more virtual reality programming is expected.
The Business Journal last month tested the broadcasting technology at a private event at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas during CES, watching the NBA’s Chicago Bulls taking on the Boston Celtics.
NextVR has developed a continuous niche in virtual reality-based live-event coverage. The company recently streamed presidential candidate debates and has worked with news outlets and professional sports leagues that include the NBA, NHL, and NASCAR.
The company was founded in 2009 and has raised $35.5 million to date.