World’s First Live VR Broadcast Thrills Football Fans
The Portuguese are among the most passionate football fans in Europe, especially in the city of Oporto, whose team FC Porto has won the Primeira Liga 27 times and the prestigious Champions League title twice. On September 20, FC Porto squared off against Lisbon’s SL Benfica, another Portuguese powerhouse with 34 Primeira Liga titles, also two-time Champions League titlists. When these two teams play each other, the stakes are always high, but on this occasion, the match was further magnified by the presence of Samsung’s Gear VR and five 360degree cameras. Together with the Portuguese cable operator NOS, SPORT TV, broadcasting specialists Mediapro and the Portuguese Professional Football League, Samsung helped people watch the game via the Gear VR, just as if they were at the stadium – except they were actually in the Samsung Experience Store in Almada and the NOS movie theater at the Centro Colombo shopping mall in Lisbon.
With one special, six-lens, 360 degree camera located behind each goal-line, another behind each team’s bench and another in the stands, people watching could choose from five different amazing vantage points to watch every minute of the thrilling contest. As soon as the game started, the lucky football fans put on the Gear VR headsets and had that “wow” moment. “It really works. I really feel like I’m on the pitch. Look, it’s Casillas (FC Porto goalkeeper) just in front of me!” said one impressed viewer.