Sky has announced a major new commitment to developing virtual reality content, including the creation of a virtual reality studio and the release of its first VR content tomorrow.
Sky VR Studio’s first two films, shot during Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, which will transport viewers to the pit lane, into the team garages, and out onto the track, will be released tomorrow.
The two F1 VR experiences, which were produced in conjunction with Formula One Management and Williams Martini Racing, will be made available via the Facebook 360 Video platform. The full VR experience will also be available on the Oculus platform, and viewable on the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets.
Sky said it would look to distribute virtual reality content through a dedicated Sky VR app later this year.
The pay TV broadcaster said that over the coming year, its VR studio will create more than 20 individual film spanning cultural and sporting events.
The VR team is headed by executive producer Neil Graham, who will be joined by award-winning VR director Richard Nockles, who directed Sky VR Studio’s F1 film, and is behind a wide range of VR projects for a number of global brands, according to Sky.
VR content to be created by the unit will include a film on heavyweight boxing, taking viewers inside the ring as Anthony Joshua bids for a world title and a film about Team Sky’s preparation for the Tour de France.
“The Sky VR Studio allows us to add a new dimension to storytelling, taking viewers to extraordinary places and offering a unique perspective on a whole host of events,” said Gary Davey, managing director, content at Sky.
He added: “The development of VR technology is moving at an incredible pace and excitement is building about its potential. Our expertise across a wide range of video content, from original drama to live sport, gives us a unique ability to bring VR to life for customers. This is just the start and we’re looking forward to creating more amazing VR content and exploring the possibilities with our tech and content partners.”