NEW YORK (AP) — Sports fans who own the right devices can follow the action at a major event this week in a new, high-tech way. If that sounds vaguely familiar, networks were embarking on similar experiments in 3-D half a decade ago.
Now virtual reality is the latest craze, and Fox Sports is offering VR streams from the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Some of the technology — and some of the people working behind the scenes — in VR come from those short-lived 3-D productions, which never caught on widely among television viewers at home. For the companies betting that VR will be different, part of the pitch for now is that it’s not intended to supplant that high-definition broadcast on a giant flat screen TV audiences seem quite happy with.
“It’s not meant to be and we’re not producing it as a replacement,” said David Nathanson, Fox Sports’ head of business operations.
“Complementary” is the buzzword for the time being. The idea is that fans will still mainly watch the event on their television sets, but they’ll use VR for enhancements: game recaps, highlights of a particular play, features, brief forays into watching a certain portion of the action live.