Intel continues to push forward with its virtual reality technology in the sports world.
The tech giant today announced a partnership with the PGA Tour to live stream the action from The Players Championship this weekend — specifically, at the famous “Island Green” on hole 17.
The company’s “Intel True VR,” its new VR brand that builds off the acquisition of virtual reality startup Voke last year, will power the stream, available to users with Samsung Gear VR headsets and the new PGA Tour VR Live app throughout the 4-day tournament that kicks off Thursday. There will be three cameras — on the tee; on the walkway; and near the green — to shuffle between.
This is the first time the PGA Tour is putting on a live virtual reality production. It has tested VR technology for the past two years and demoed Intel’s True VR product at the Genesis Open in February.
In March, Intel livestreamed the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in virtual reality via a partnership with the NCAA and Turner. The company continues its push into the sports world; it established its Intel Sports Group this past fall, right around the Voke acquisition, and has continued building products and services with wearable computing, virtual reality, connected devices, and more that have application in the sports industry.
Twitter is also part of today’s announcement, as those without a VR headset will be able to watch a 360-degree video stream from the same perspective on hole 17 via the PGA Tour’s Twitter and Periscope account. This is the first time Twitter has distributed live 360-degree video during a major sports event.
Twitter previously partnered with the PGA Tour in January to live stream 70 hours of competition this season, which includes action from the first 60 to 90 minutes of PGA Tour Live’s coverage (pre-round analysis, interviews, range coverage, first two holes of each day’s PGA Tour Live “Marquee Groups”).
Twitter said today that it averages nearly 500,000 unique viewers on the PGA Tour stream each day, more than 70 percent of which are under 35 years old.
The company, which saw its stock rise after beating earnings expectations last week, continues to invest in live sports content despite the fact that it lost out to Amazon in April for the rights to stream Thursday Night Football NFL games next season. Amazon paid a reported $50 million to stream 10 games next season, five times as much as Twitter paid last year.