Watching NBA Games Courtside - Through the Metaverse

by Dror Denishman

It's the Brooklyn Nets! They are officially the first basketball team to venture into the Metaverse.
Now, you would be able to watch the one and only Kevin Durant and James Harden play right in front of you. And I'm not talking about watching them play inside an LCD TV. This is much better. Imagine watching a basketball match right from the courtside while you're elsewhere.
Cool, right? No. It's downright mind-blowing.

The Netaverse

The Basketball Team based in New York has opened a new frontier for the NBA. Fans would now be able to watch their matches virtually from any part of the Virtual Barclays Center.

They are using over a hundred high-resolution cameras that surround the Center to produce a 360-degree immersive virtual experience. Fans could choose to be behind the net, courtside, or right in the middle of the court!

Life-like renditions of the players can now be produced in minutes, making watching the game in real-time effectively possible. Right now, the Barclays center is the only stadium in the United States that has this technology installed. It is hoped that with time, the rest of the NBA will follow suit.

The Virtual Experience

The experience is free and available on Meta’s Horizon Venues platform, which is a software download for the Oculus VR headset. People materialize as digital avatars, animated versions of their physical selves, and watch an NBA game from a courtside perspective.

The NBA is giving virtual courtside seats on Oculus Quest 2 devices. The experience is free for now as the NBA urges everyone to give virtual reality a try. Those who have tried it applauded the ingenuity and wondered when other sports would have their own virtual platforms.

Senior director of strategy and business development for YES Network, the Nets Cable Television Partner, Matt Duarte, said in a written statement that they wanted an app with high-quality game video player with "…different features, functionality, and tools to allow all of our views and fans to both engage with us in as many different ways as possible as well as customize the way they view and interact with us.

”Watching the players won’t be the only feature of the app. Users would also be able to have video conversations with their friends while sharing the experience. They can also choose a particular player to keep track of their stats all through the match.