Couldn’t make it to Russia for the 2018 World Cup? For the first time this year, audiences in the US will be able to stream the full tournament in virtual reality. Consider it your box seat for the games.
The tournament kicks off June 14 and a winner will be crowned July 15. The first match—Russia versus Saudi Arabia—is scheduled to start at 11am EST, with opening ceremonies beginning about 30 minutes beforehand.
Fox Sports and Telemundo, which are showing the World Cup on TV and online in the US, will be streaming all 64 matches live in VR for those with TV subscriptions.
Fox’s experience will usher fans into a virtual suite where they can create customizable avatars and watch the VR live stream with friends and other viewers. Users will be able connect with friends via Facebook, or find other fans at random to share the event. The experience was created in partnership with the social VR streaming startup LiveLike. The VR streams will be available on the Fox Sports VR app. It only requires a smartphone—it works with both iOS and Android devices—to get the basic experience. You’ll need to login with a pay-TV provider to access the matches.
Telemundo’s VR experience for Spanish speakers will also take place in a virtual lounge. The matches will be shown live in 180-degree video, with highlights and goals in 360-degree video, via the Telemundo Deportes VR app. It requires a pay-TV subscription to view all of the matches, too.
Oculus Venues is also making four matches available in VR for free via Fox Sports. The app is available on the Oculus Go and Gear VR:
- June 17 at 11am EST: Germany versus Mexico
- June 20 at 8am EST: Portugal versus Morocco
- June 22 at 8am EST: Brazil versus Costa Rica
- June 24 at 8am EST: England versus Panama
Update (June 14): This story was updated to include information from Oculus Venues.