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Samsung takes a live UFC fight to virtual reality

Late last year, we were the first to tell you that the UFC was testing virtual reality live broadcasts. Now the testing is over—and we're a few days away from seeing our first live mixed martial arts fight in VR. The improvement comes as a feature of Samsung Gear VR's new VR Live Pass benefit, which notwithstanding UFC battles, will likewise incorporate live occasions from the X Games and shows from Live Nation.


"We've generally felt that the capability of joining UFC occasions with virtual reality would give our fans a definitive improved affair," said UFC head working officer Lawrence Epstein in an announcement discharged by Samsung. "This amusement changing activity [will] additionally upset how battle fans expend our substance and live occasions far and wide."

In the event that you dispatch the Samsung VR application, you can as of now observe free VR sneak peaks of the battle, and additionally a short component that enables you to perceive what it resembles to fight with Max Holloway in the UFC octagon.


And keeping in mind that the UFC's developing profile in the games scene may be upgraded by this new immersive channel, the genuine prevalence of live VR sports communicates is still for the most part a secret. That is on account of none of these VR sports activities have discharged watcher numbers.

Back in 2015, there were VR broadcasts of NBA games, and this year the NCAA did the same with Final Four games. But you almost never heard chatter about them afterwards on social media.
Whether that's due to small-but-growing VR headset ownership or lack of interest in the format itself remains to be seen.


Despite the fairly quiet fan response to VR broadcasts from the likes of the NFL and soon Major League Baseball, we continue to see leagues trot out VR live streams. In my own live VR event viewings, I've found the presentation to be incredibly engaging and definitely worth the extra effort of strapping on a VR headset. But unless more fans begin sampling these immersive experiences, live VR events may turn out to be a brilliant entertainment innovation that eventually fades into the background, having never found its audience.

The X Games event will be broadcast in VR beginning on July 13, the Live Nation events will come in August, and the José Aldo versus Max Holloway UFC fight will be broadcast for free to Gear VR owners on June 3 live from Brazil.

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