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New way to watch college football: NBC Sports joins ‘shared reality’

NBC Sports has partnered with technology, media and entertainment company Cosm to bring a new twist to viewing their broadcasts.

The multi-year partnership announced Wednesday will bring Premier League soccer, horse racing and Notre Dame and Big Ten football games to ‘shared reality’ experiences. It is the first time any such events will be available in shared reality, according to a press release.

Cosm, the company behind shared reality, partnered with TNT Sports in 2023 to earn the rights to broadcast NBA, NHL and both U.S. national soccer teams’ events. It also has partnerships with the UFC and Cirque du Soleil.

What is ‘Shared Reality?’

The idea of shared reality stems from the use of 87-foot diameter, 8K+ LED domes to broadcast the events and give viewers the impression that they are experiencing the next-best thing to front row seats. According to Wednesday’s press release, its true definition is ‘an experience which bridges the virtual and physical worlds.’

In execution, it’s similar to the design of planetarium shows, which use great domes to make observers feel as though they are floating through outer space themselves. Given the tech company’s ’75-year history building the largest and most prestigious planetariums and science centers worldwide,’ the comparison is a fitting one.

In 2022, they completed a major venture into sports during the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. Cosm offered the first 8K resolution livestream for NBC Sports’ virtual reality coverage of Olympic events.

‘When fans come to Cosm, there is always something new to see, and Cosm is the world’s best place to experience the event next to actually being there in person,” said company CEO and President Jeb Terry in a statement.

Where to experience Cosm’s shared reality sports events

Cosm plans to open two venues for their special viewing experiences later this year: one in Los Angeles at Hollywood Park, and the other in Dallas at Grandscape. The Los Angeles location is set to open in Q2 this year (spring or summer 2024), and Dallas’ opening is set for Q3 (fall 2024), a Cosm spokesperson told USA TODAY.

According to Wednesday’s press release, ‘Details of the schedule of events upon the opening of its venues will be shared at a later date.’

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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