Intel Tips Off NCAA March Madness with Multiyear Exclusive Partnership with Turner Sports, CBS Sports and NCAA as Official Virtual Reality Provider of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship

Available for the First Time, Virtual Premium Tickets with Intel True VR Deliver Enhanced Viewing Experience

News Release

March 21, 2017

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 21, 2017 – Intel Corporation is announcing a new corporate partnership deal to provide Intel® True VR (virtual reality) to fans of college sports through a multiyear agreement with Turner Sports*, CBS Sports* and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)*. The relationship will debut with the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, with Intel as the exclusive VR live games partner of the NCAA.

The VR experience will be available via the new NCAA March Madness Live VR app, powered by Intel in the Oculus* store, available for download today. For the first time, college basketball fans will be able to purchase a March Madness Live virtual reality premium ticket for a virtual courtside seat experience for NCAA March Madness games where they have the option to completely control the viewing perspective or opt for a produced VR broadcast in their VR headset. More information on the NCAA March Madness Live VR app can be found on the NCAA website.

Intel True VR cameras capture footage of upcoming basketball games. During the NCAA March Madness tournament, Intel will showcase how Intel True VR and 360-degree replay technologies are creating immersive, highly personalized experiences for fans. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
Intel True VR cameras capture footage of upcoming basketball games. During the NCAA March Madness tournament, Intel will showcase how Intel True VR and 360-degree replay technologies are creating immersive, highly personalized experiences for fans. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
Intel True VR cameras capture game footage from all angles, creating an immersive viewing experience. During the NCAA March Madness tournament, Intel will showcase how Intel True VR and 360-degree replay technologies are creating immersive, highly personalized experiences for fans. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
Intel True VR cameras capture game footage from all angles, creating an immersive viewing experience. During the NCAA March Madness tournament, Intel will showcase how Intel True VR and 360-degree replay technologies are creating immersive, highly personalized experiences for fans. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
An Intel production room captures games footage using Intel True VR technology. During the NCAA March Madness tournament, Intel will showcase how Intel True VR and 360-degree replay technologies are creating immersive, highly personalized experiences for fans. (Credit: Intel Corporation)
A courtside view of the tournament through the NCAA March Madness Live VR app powered by Intel True VR (Credit: Turner Sports)
This is the virtual reality view of the NCAA March Madness Live VR app powered by Intel True VR. For the first time, fans can purchase virtual tickets to watch select March Madness games live in VR. (Credit: Turner Sports)

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“Intel’s technology integrations during March Madness is one example of how Intel is changing the fan experience with Intel True VR and Intel 360 replay technology,” said James Carwana, general manager, Intel Sports Group. “Our goal in the Intel Sports Group is to deliver the best fan experience with our technology. By working with Turner, CBS and the NCAA, we are giving the fans the best seat in the house with Intel True VR technology.”

“Intel’s virtual reality and 360 replay technology provide NCAA fans the most innovative viewing experience imaginable,” said Will Funk, executive vice president of property marketing and corporate partnerships for Turner Sports. “Our partnership with Intel will provide an unrivaled opportunity for technological advancements across the college sports landscape.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Intel to the NCAA Corporate Marketing family,” said Chris Simko, senior vice president, CBS Sports Sales and Marketing. “Intel technology helps us bring college basketball fans closer to the action than ever before, providing virtual premium access to select games of this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, including the Final Four and National Championship.”

“Adding Intel as a corporate partner will upgrade the championship experience for our fans and keep our events on the cutting edge of technology in sports,” said Dan Gavitt, senior vice president for basketball, NCAA. “We’re always wanting to know what is new and what enhancements we can make each year that allow our championships to be more enjoyable. We hope our fans enjoy the new virtual reality experience.”

Intel Debuts Intel True VR, Formerly Known as VOKE VR

Intel is also unveiling the brand Intel True VR as it has fully transitioned the technology and fan experience from the VOKE acquisition. Intel True VR will deliver immersive VR experiences with live and on-demand sports experiences, in-game highlights, and produced game feeds to bring the in-stadium experience to life from any location. In addition to the NCAA March Madness Live app, fans can access sports and entertainment content on the Intel True VR app in the Oculus store. Sankar “Jay” Jayaram, co-founder of VOKE VR, will continue to lead the Intel True VR team and bring more than 20 years of VR experience to Intel Sports Group.

“VOKE was started over seven years ago with a passion to dramatically change how fans experience sports,” Jayaram said. “VOKE transitioning into Intel True VR gives us the ability to make amazing new VR experiences come to life and extend it to teams, leagues and broadcasters. The Intel Sports Groups is the perfect home for the VOKE team’s expertise in VR and sports.”

Intel True VR will utilize camera pods that consist of 12 cameras per pod to deliver a total of up to 48 cameras devoted to Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games and 84 cameras covering the Final Four National Semifinals and National Championship. VR enables fans to watch the games from the best seat in the house.

Catch the Most Memorable Plays with Intel 360 Replay Technology

During CBS Sports and Turner Sports coverage of the Final Four and Final Championship games broadcast on CBS, Intel 360 Replay technology will capture game highlights from every angle. Intel’s 360 replay technology will capture game footage by equipping the University of Phoenix* stadium with 28 5K ultra-high definition cameras coupled with Intel-based servers capable of processing up to 1 terabyte of data per 15 to 30 second clip.

The volumetric video is captured and sent through more than five miles of fiber-optic cables, which is then fed into an on-site Intel control room, where a team of producers picks out and packages the replays. The 360 replay-enhanced clips enable close-up views from every possible angle – whether it’s a no-look, behind-the-back pass over an extremely tall defense or the unforgettable alley-oop on the other side that leaves the backboard shaking.

To learn more about Intel in sports, visit: https://newsroom.intel.com/sports.


» Download video: “Intel True VR and 360 Replay Set-Up (B-roll)”

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