The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is poised to revolutionise the world of sports entertainment by significantly ramping up its live fight broadcasts using cutting-edge 4K virtual reality (VR) technology. Collaborating with Meta's Xtadium and Horizon Worlds digital platforms, UFC is set to deliver an unparalleled immersive experience for fans.
Building on successful experimental broadcasts last year, the partnership between UFC and Meta has grown stronger, bolstered by the confidence in the technology and its appeal to consumers. Notably, nine Fight Pass events are scheduled for broadcast through Meta's platforms, with the inaugural showcase being Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) 164, slated for tonight.
The integration of this groundbreaking technology is set to be a game-changer for UFC Fight Pass subscribers who possess a Meta Quest 2 headset. This hardware will provide them with the capability to select a cage side vantage point, offering a mesmerising 180-degree perspective of the action. Moreover, viewers can seamlessly switch between multiple camera angles and even virtually share their viewing experience with friends via social features.
Initially, the immersive broadcasts will be accessible exclusively through Xtadium. However, plans are in place to extend this captivating experience to Horizon Worlds by the conclusion of 2023, as part of an exclusive metaverse encounter. This bespoke UFC-themed environment is designed to blend live and on-demand immersive content with interactive games and engaging social features. Participants will also have the chance to accumulate unlock-able rewards and enhance their status within the community based on their level of engagement.
Craig Borsari, UFC's Chief Content Officer and Executive Producer, expressed enthusiasm for this revolutionary step, stating, "We’re just scratching the surface of how we can use this technology to create greater fan engagement and grow this sport. Meta Horizon Worlds is taking fan engagement and community building to another level."
The utilisation of Meta's advanced VR technology, particularly through the Meta Quest 2, has enabled UFC fans to immerse themselves in the Octagon's atmosphere like never before. Simultaneously, the incorporation of Worlds provides a dynamic and interactive social space where fans can interact in real-time, further enhancing the sense of community among enthusiasts.
Xtadium, developed by YBVR, is also gearing up to host an immersive broadcast of the highly anticipated fight between Jake Paul and Nate Diaz, as covered by DAZN. This is a testament to the platform's versatility and its capacity to extend beyond UFC events.
UFC's strategic collaboration with Meta's Xtadium and Horizon Worlds represents a paradigm shift in sports entertainment, ushering in a new era of fan engagement, interactivity, and immersion.