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In March, Sky Sports launched its in-house virtual reality production house followed by a tease of an exclusive virtual reality app in July.
On Monday, the largest sports broadcaster in the U.K. officially announced the launch of the Sky VR App, a hub for high quality 360-degree video content.
With the app’s release, which is free to download in the App Store or from Google Play, Sky Sports revealed a few VR experiences, including features of soccer legend David Beckham. Through the app, the retired star enters a virtual reality simulator and takes the viewer to the world’s best sports events. Sky VR Studios partnered with Google to create the footage.
“Interest in VR content is building, generating more excitement every day,” Gary Davey, managing director of creative at Sky, said in a statement. “We are just at the beginning of our VR journey at Sky, launching Sky VR studios earlier this year and we are already breaking new ground. Now comes the creative challenge of deploying this immersive experience with engaging storytelling. I am a big believer.”
Added Beckham in a statement: “It was great to work with Sky and Google on this film to launch the new Sky Virtual Reality app. The team from the Sky VR studio came up with an incredible concept that shows the range of sport Sky offers. Being able to take other sports fans on a journey into some of the world’s biggest sporting events was a unique opportunity.”
Viewers can also watch Team Sky as the squad prepares for its third Tour de France, go behind the scenes with F1’s Team Williams, or seemingly have ringside seats to watch boxer and IBF heavyweight title-holder Anthony Joshua. Other experiences in the new app include roughly 20 pieces of content from a variety of Sky’s partners like Disney, Warner Brothers, Fox Innovation Lab, Baobab Studios, Jaunt, Innerspace and Surround.
For now, the Sky VR app will just give viewers an immersive experience either in conjunction with Google Cardboard or in 2D (360 degrees) without a headset, with additional features to come in the future. The app will also work when using Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift.