Published on: 24/01/2023
Meta to allow Quest users to stream 52 NBA games in VR for free
Meta announced Monday that basketball fans would be able to watch 52 live games in virtual reality (VR) for free during the 2022-23 NBA season, thanks to the company’s partnership with the league.
The NBA and Meta had earlier agreed to have Quest serve as the “presenting partner” for streaming NBA programming in VR in 2020.
Fans in the United States with a Meta Quest Pro or Oculus Quest 2 headset can watch live games through the XTADIUM (U.S.) or Horizon Worlds apps. They can also compete in minigames and catch up on missed games by watching highlights and recaps in Horizon Worlds.
Meta said that in a future update, NBA League Pass users would be able to enjoy even more content in the app. The tech giant also revealed that in the coming weeks, NBA-licensed gear would be available in the Avatar Store.
Fans of the NBA or WNBA may now outfit their virtual selves in official team clothing and flaunt it across social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and Meta Quest.
Fans have until April 9 to claim some games before the season ends. The full schedule is available in the official Meta Quest blog post if they missed any free games in January.
Rob Shaw, director of sports media and league partnerships at Meta, wrote in the official blog that the company’s groundbreaking VR technology allows sports fans to “interact with their favorite NBA teams” in new ways.
Meta’s immersive VR technology is opening up new opportunities for sports fans to engage and interact with their favorite NBA teams.
Rob Shaw, Meta director of sports media and league partnerships
Fans can show their support for their favorite team by dressing up their Avatars with team apparel. They will also be able to watch live NBA games and use NBA League Pass in a more sociable and interactive environment.
Five NBA games that Meta has not yet announced will be available to watch in 180-degree immersive VR in 2880 resolution, with celebrity broadcasters providing commentary on the action.
This enhanced perspective will put viewers on the court as the action unfolds, making them feel like they’re part of the action rather than just spectators at home.
It has been announced that Meta will also serve as a host venue for games from the WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League.
However, fans should be aware of a few limitations to using the technology. For example, they must reside in a territory where Horizon Worlds is available.
Those living outside the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, France and Spain cannot access the metaverse platform.
However, even if fans are located in one of these areas, it is not guaranteed that they will have access. Since the platform’s content is region-specific, Meta cautions that not all games will be available worldwide due to the uneven distribution of rights.
Games scheduled for VR streaming
On Wednesday, January 25, users can watch the Denver Nuggets face the Milwaukee Bucks in virtual reality.
Cleveland Cavaliers fans can watch the team take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, January 27. They will play the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, January 29, and finish the month with a matchup against the Miami Heat on Tuesday, January 31.
The Golden State Warriors are scheduled to compete against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the start of February, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers on February 8. After that, the Warriors will face Houston Rockets on February 24.
Fans of the Phoenix Suns can watch them take on the Brooklyn Nets on February 7 and, later, the Atlanta Hawks on February 9.
Meta Quest VR headsets users can watch the Minnesota Timberwolves play the Dallas Mavericks on February 13. They can also witness the team taking on the Washington Wizards on February 16 with their VR gear.
Fans can enjoy an immersive experience when the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers face off on February 23. They can also watch the highly anticipated games between the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks on February 26. Lastly, the Celtics and the New York Knicks will face each other on February 27.