The UFC Is Venturing To Virtual Reality

The UFC Is Venturing To Virtual Reality
June 2, 2017
UFC 212: ALDO vs. HOLLOWAY, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 3, 2017 will be live streamed in VR on Samsung Gear VR. Image from AFP Relaxnews via Samsung Electronics


After offering access to its main events in 4K resolution, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is getting ready to go one better by offering fans the ultimate in immersive viewing.


The UFC has signed a deal with Samsung that will let Gear Virtual Reality (VR) owners watch its next pay-per-view headline event—UFC 212—as a 360-degree audio-visual live stream.


The main event features a showdown between Featherweight champion José Aldo and interim featherweight champion Max Holloway. The package being put together for Gear VR users on June 3 will also include a pre- and post-match show.


“We’ve always felt that the potential of combining UFC events with virtual reality would give our fans the ultimate enhanced experience,” said UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein. “We’re excited to partner with Samsung on this game-changing initiative to further revolutionize how fight fans consume our content and live events around the world.”


However, there’s a slight catch. The show is only accessible to those that have signed up to Samsung’s VR Live Pass and for the moment at least, there are no plans to offer the main event in full VR to US consumers.


For those that prefer other types of extreme immersive entertainment, Samsung is also teaming up with the X Games and with Live Nation over the summer. There will be a VR live stream of the X Games Minneapolis (July 13 to 16) where viewers will get to watch BMXers like Chad Kerley, plus some of the greatest current crop of street and vert ramp skateboarders such as Jimmy Wilkins and Jagger Eaton compete.


Then in August, there will be a live music concert “with international artist.” The exact identity of the star is being kept a secret but Live Nation and Samsung promise they will be one of the most exciting and renowned acts of the moment.


“Partnering with these companies to expand our VR services helps us to open up a new gateway of opportunities for fans and demonstrate our commitment to delivering experiences that make the seemingly impossible, possible,” said Younghee Lee, CMO and Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics. KI

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