You Can Watch the Olympics in Virtual Reality

You will be able to watch 85 hours of VR programming on the Gear VR.

For the first time, the Olympic Games will be available to watch in virtual reality.

NBC Olympics announced today that they will provide Virtual Reality (VR) coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games exclusively to authenticated users of compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones (Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5) together with Samsung Gear VR via the NBC Sports app.

There will be 85 hours of programming that will be captured by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and supplied to NBC Olympics. Coverage will include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, men’s basketball — including the semifinals and final — gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, diving, boxing, and fencing, as well as highlight packages of those sports.

For those hoping to watch Olympic Games coverage in VR as it happens, unfortunately programming will be presented on delay. You can expect to start tuning in from August 6, the day after the Opening Ceremony, through August 22, the day after the Games conclude.


Only Samsung Galaxy smartphones compatible with Gear VR will be able to access the VR content section of the NBC Sports app. Samsung customers can view the VR content via TV Everywhere on the NBC Sports app after authenticating through their pay TV provider.

OBS announced earlier this year that it would be partially filming the games in both VR and “Super-Hi Vision” 8K video. And in May, Samsung created an immersive film documenting the road to Rio with a few Olympic hopefuls.

“Fans of the Olympics will now get to experience the world’s best athletes as they compete in some of the most popular events of Rio 2016 in a whole new way: through virtual reality,” said Marc Mathieu, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Electronics America. “We are thrilled to work with NBC and OBS on this first-of-its-kind endeavor, connecting fans right to the action in Rio, powered by 360-degree storytelling, virtual reality and our Galaxy phones.”

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics is Friday, August 5, on NBC.

Image Credit: Samsung

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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