NBC and NextVR broadcast virtual reality Kentucky Derby

NBC Sports Group and NextVR_Kentucky DerbyNBC Sports Group made its first steps into virtual reality (VR) broadcasting at the weekend by airing VR footage from the Kentucky Derby, in partnership with NextVR.

The companies claimed that Saturday’s coverage marked the “first-ever horse racing in virtual reality” with footage captured “from the paddock to the track and finishing in the winner’s circle”.

NBC and NextVR used seven virtual reality cameras – five placed trackside to capture the race, and two cameras in the paddock area to show the horses before parading to the starting gate.

The footage was available free through the NBC channel on the NextVR portal, with Samsung Gear VR owners able to download the NextVR app on Gear VR headset-compatible phones.

Last week NextVR partnered with Live Nation in a move that will see the companies broadcast hundreds of live music concerts and events using virtual reality (VR) technology.

NextVR specialises in VR live-event streams and raised US$30.5 million in funding last November. Venture capital firm Formation 8 led the round, with Comcast Ventures and Time Warner Investments also participating.