Sky launches VR trial for football broadcasting with Manchester City

Fans could soon be able to watch football in virtual reality mode after the tech was trialled by Premier League giant Manchester City and Sky Sports.

Manchester City: fans watched their club play Arsenal live using VR headsets
Manchester City: fans watched their club play Arsenal live using VR headsets

The club, in concert with Sky Sports and LiveLike, trialled VR devices with fans in London, New York and Melbourne who were watching Manchester City play Arsenal on 8 May.

The trial was delivered alongside VR startup LiveLike and was supported by US broadcasters NBC and Fox Sports in Australia, showing the interest in offering innovative ways of broadcasting sport.

Fans could soon be able to watch football in virtual reality mode after the tech was trialled by Premier League giant Manchester City.

Broadcasters are under increasing pressure to offer value-added experiences in live sport as they face potential compeition from over-the-top providers from the likes of YouTube and Twitter, which will stream live NFL games next season.

Diego Gigliani, the senior vice president of media and innovation at Manchester City, said: "We began looking at how we could use VR to enhance the fan experience over a year ago. Now, thanks to a great collaboration with partners Sky Sports and LiveLike who share our passion for providing fans with the best sporting experiences possible, we’re delighted to be able to bring an official live Premier League match to virtual reality for the first time ever.

"There’s still a lot to be done until the technology matures and we find the right content offering, but the fans’ reactions to this test prove how incredibly engaging and transformational virtual reality can be."