Michigan State’s game against Notre Dame on Saturday will be the fourth college football game broadcast in virtual reality on the free FOX Sports VR app. But this time, there’s a new twist.
For the first time, a c360 Skycam live stream will be available for a college football game. Throughout the game, the Skycam will follow plays and allow fans to watch from directly above the game. For Jeb Terry, FOX Sports’ vice president of partner and program management who played guard for five years in the NFL, its debut brings a lot of excitement.
“This Skycam perspective is next level,” Terry told Land of 10. “When I watched film, I always watched from behind so I can see the footwork, plays develop, stuff like that. This is the first thing I’ve seen that can take me to that level and granularity where I want to watch the game from, and that’s what gets me really geeked up about it.”
Terry said that during the game, the televised broadcast on FOX likely will use the Skycam view on occasion, but in the app, users can explore the different perspectives on their own. The app, which is available on Apple iOS, Android and Oculus, does not require a headset.
With the headset, fans can block outside noise and enjoy an experience Terry described as “fully immersive.” Without it, they can enjoy the experience with others in the room on their phone or tablet.
“We let our users and fans choose how they want to watch the game,” Terry said. “In one perspective, it’s like you’re sitting in a suite or club section at the 50-yard line. You can also pick and choose the end zone cameras. So when Michigan State’s driving toward the end zone, you can actually go to that end zone camera and it will take over your screen.”
The suite view, as shown above, allows fans to connect with friends and interact with other fans watching the game. They can connect to their Facebook account and customize an avatar with their fan affiliation at no cost. They simply must log in as with any other live TV app.
Without the app, fans still will be able to enjoy some of the VR features. The Skycam will be shown on FOX’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts during pregame warmups, halftime and postgame celebrations. But a simple download, Terry said, will enhance the fan experience in a big way.
“We want to make it so people who can’t make it to the game can feel like they’re at the game,” he said. “For those who might be living in California but are huge Spartan fans and want to kind of feel the excitement or get unique angles, we want them to be able to have this on their phone as well.
“It’s really a full offering with social, with this 360 Skycam, with all these things and really trying to compile all our learnings of the past year and a half or so of producing these events. We’re excited about what this game is going to bring, and we hope fans respond and like it as well.”