The videos will be available on YouTube and Google’s new VR headset, Daydream.
If anything can bring virtual reality into the mainstream, it’s NFL football, right? Google sure hopes so.
The NFL announced on Thursday a new nine-part, virtual reality limited series for YouTube and Google’s new smartphone-powered VR headset, Daydream.
The series, which will be produced by the league’s film studio, NFL Films, will look at “life in and around the NFL — from players, to coaches, to executives, to cheerleaders, to the fans themselves — detailing how each prepares for game day,” the NFL outlined in a press release.
The deal is exclusive, which means these videos won’t live on other platforms, like those of Facebook’s Oculus Rift, for example. And while we don’t know for certain whether Google is paying the NFL, it seems likely. The press release described the deal as “an expansion of [the NFL’s] relationship” with Google — and that existing relationship includes Google paying the league to share game highlights on YouTube.
Lots of people are starting to get into virtual reality content, including other pro sports leagues like the NBA. The NFL even tested some VR videos with Jaunt and NextVR around the Super Bowl. But this NFL/Google deal is interesting in part because it gives Google some exclusive content to package with their new headsets — and people love NFL stuff even if it doesn’t necessarily include live game footage. (See: HBO’s Hard Knocks.)
Plus, it signals some serious interest in the VR industry from one of the world’s most lucrative and popular sports leagues. That’s good news for VR hopefuls and a sign that the industry can draw interest outside of the the world of gaming.
The first episode of the series will hit YouTube on Thanksgiving day and will be available on Daydream “later this year.”