Voke is latest to join NFL's VR highlights package

Virtual reality startup recently acquired by Intel gets its shot at showing highlights of four NFL games this season. Is the Super Bowl next?

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
2 min read

Denver Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller, right, is one of the many NFL stars fans can now see in virtual reality.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The NFL is giving fans yet another chance to catch some of this season's action in virtual reality.
The league is partnering with Voke VR to show in-game and postgame highlights of four games with playoff spots on the line. The first game in the partnership is Sunday, as the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos take on the upset-minded Jacksonville Jaguars.
That's followed a week later with the New Orleans Saints taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the Jaguars again against the Houston Texans on December 18 and the NFL's hottest team, the Dallas Cowboys, versus the Philadelphia Eagles, on New Year's Day.

Voke will use cameras like these to get highlights in virtual reality from four key NFL games this season.


Voke will work in tandem with Emmy award-winning NFL Films to capture in-game and postgame highlights packages from all four games. Fans will be able to watch the games for free in the NFL channel in Voke's app.

Voke's NFL partnership comes exactly a month after it was acquired by chip giant Intel and after rival VR company NextVR showed postgame highlights of three games earlier season.

"Competition is always good," Voke co-founder Sankar Jayaram said as he was en route to Sunday's game in Jacksonville. "Competition means there are different approaches as the NFL is testing with multiple players to capture the right camera angles, storylines and evaluate and how this works out in their future."

William Deng, the NFL's director of media strategy and business development, believes this partnership with Voke gives the league another chance to tinker with VR.

"Virtual reality has the potential to bring a unique perspective to our fans to complement the different ways they currently enjoy the game today," Deng said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Voke as we continue to experiment and create new experiences in this emerging medium."

The Silicon Valley-based Voke has captured its share of big-time sporting moments this year. Using its TrueVR platform, Voke teamed up with Turner Sports and Occulus to provide a courtside view of the 2016 NCAA men's basketball Final Four and national championship game through Samsung Gear VR and provided highlights on Facebook's 360. Remember Villanova's thrilling buzzer-beating upset win over North Carolina?

The VR experience requires strapping on a headset that tunes viewers out the rest of the world, drawing them into the action.

Last season, NextVR captured footage at three NFL games and had a well-attended booth at the NFL Experience fan fest in San Francisco during Super Bowl 50 festivities. At the booth, fans got a glimpse of gridiron action in virtual reality.

With Voke entering the NFL VR picture also showing NFL highlights, my speculation intensifies that Super Bowl 51 on February 5 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, home of the Texans, will be shown in virtual reality.

Stay tuned...