by Jason Snell
Anticipating Apple’s VR sports strategy
While I’m linking to subscription Substacks, I thought I’d link to Will Carroll’s piece about Apple, sports, and VR:
I’m not sure if people are ready for VR (or “XR” as Apple appears to be calling it), but one of the strongly rumored apps is a virtual IMAX screen. Yes, it will be great for movies, but also for sports. I’ve talked about the NBA’s courtside videos on Meta’s Oculus and with a 4K screen instead of the not-HD that even the new Oculus’s (Oculi?) have, it will be even better. I expect the sound will be too, or we’ll just use the AirPods we all have now.
But Apple doesn’t have NBA content… What Apple does have is the MLS, including the rights to do “new and innovative” things, and they have a weekly MLB game….
It’s that one game that I’m focused on. It’s going to need to be more, which means more like MLB.tv than a Friday night game of the week. MLB had one of the first apps on the iPhone and I fully expect that not only will there be a game of the week on the new headset, but also an app that does what the phone app does, except in big, IMAX-sized doses….
The confluence of Apple’s societal dominance, the collapse of RSN’s, and the opening of the VR era – no, really this time – is a potential inflection point inside sports. Not just MLB, but at every level, including the fans.
Needless to say, I’m very interested to see how Apple’s interest in live sports connects to the launch of its new mixed-reality platform.