Turner, NCAA Team on March Madness Live VR App

Turner, NCAA Team on March Madness Live VR App

"We used last year as a base line and built an experience that builds off last year", said David Aufhauser, Managing Director of Strategy and Product for Intel Sports Group.

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live garnered 29 million live video starts over the first full Thursday, up 19% over past year.

This is the first time "virtual tickets" have been sold to March Madness games.

Nielsen gathered some data recently that could point toward how March Madness is able to grow its ratings while other TV events struggle.

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The tech giant today announced a multi-year deal with Turner Sports and the NCAA to stream March Madness college basketball games in virtual reality, starting with this month's NCAA men's national tournament. Though it will be possible to get a four-minute preview for free (to make sure you want to dive in for real), it'll cost $1.99 per game for a single-camera view, or $2.99 a game ($7.99 for all six matchups) for access to multiple camera angles as well as game commentary tailored for VR viewers.

"I believe it's a business model that very well could take off", she said, noting that Turner and the NCAA will also provide some in-game highlights on Facebook's 360 video platform to help promote the experience. Turner Sports along with CBS and the NCAA wil offer the tournament in VR beginning with the Sweet Sixteen.

"I think it brings the fan closer to being there", Poole added, noting that the VR experience around the tournament will also provide more in-arena audio than before.

Intel is using camera pods that have 12 embedded cameras; there will be a total of 84 individual cameras covering the Final Four and National Championship games. Intel noted that Intel Tru VR is the new brand to emerge from the Voke acquisition. In addition to the NCAA March Madness Live app, fans can access sports and entertainment content on the Intel True VR app in the Oculus store.

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