Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports | MediaTech Startup Ideas


This MediaTech Startup Idea from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups is to create a Virtual Reality Stadium for live sports viewing, creating an interactive and immersive 3D viewing environment to give you the experience of watching live sports in the stadium.

Market Definition for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

As per a VR Consumer Survey by Greenlight in the USA, it was revealed that 56% of the respondents were interested in watching sports in VR using a Head Mounted Display. Live sports could be the key to getting more viewers hooked onto Virtual Reality. The survey also claimed that the live VR is anticipated to grow at higher 5-year CAGR than the overall VR gaming market.

According to Nielsen’s Year in Sports Media Report 2015, in 2015, there were more than 127,000 hours of sports programming available on broadcast and cable TV and more than 31 billion hours spent viewing sports, which is up 160% and 41%, respectively, from 2005. According to TV data from fourth-quarter 2015, unsurprisingly, 95% of total sports viewing happens live. Sports accounted for 93 of the top 100 live-viewed TV content in 2015, compared to just 14 in 2005.

Also from a video standpoint, the NBA’s app and its website last season set traffic records with 11.5 billion views. Over the last 18 months, FOX Sports alone has offered more than a dozen major events in VR, including Super Bowl LI, the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2016 U.S. Open Championship.

International Data Corporation forecast that the headset market will hit 13.7 million this year, and will grow to a staggering 81.2 million shipments by 2021. The demand for VR events will grow along with the HMD’s in use.

All these factors Indicate that VR and Live sports viewing can be a good combination for a startup to work on. Lets look at how the startup can focus on this idea for creating a Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

Competitor Analysis for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

NextVR is a technology company that captures and delivers live and on-demand virtual reality experiences. Viewers can watch from rock concerts to sporting events to fashion shows with lifelike experience in High definition broadcast quality. Launched in 2009, NextVR has a vast IP portfolio with more than seventeen patents granted and pending for the capture, compression, transmission, and display of virtual reality content.

LiveLike, Founded in 2015, New York startup LiveLike has raised $5.91 million in funding to build a VR platform for broadcasters that allows sports fans from around the world to create their virtual suites for sharing the sporting event viewing experience. LiveLike also emulates immersive, the communal aspect of sports fanhood by enabling multiple users to occupy the same viewing space, without the exorbitant expense of renting a stadium suite in real life.

Pain point and Target Audience for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The target audience for this startup will be millions of viewers who want a live 3D immersive experience of their favorite sport and also broadcasters who are not willing to upgrade to expensive 3D cameras for capturing live events. All the other present VR viewing experiences require costly 3D camera rigs. ESPN had to shut down ESPN 3D as it required 3D TV’s, glasses and required the content to be shot using 3D cameras, and as the audience was limited due to the low adoption of 3D TV’s, the advertising revenues never took off.

Value Proposition for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The proposed idea does not require any special cameras to record a live sporting event; just a few inexpensive lenses can be used to Capture 2d content in a format which is easy to convert into 3D. The content can be beamed directly to mobile phones and can be viewed through inexpensive Head-mounted displays like Cardboard. The broadcasters get an additional channel to monetize without any significant investments in upgrading the existing infrastructure.

Business Model for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The proposed startup can tie up with various broadcasters and offer content to its subscribers on a pay per view for live sports or on a monthly subscription through an app. The startup can also develop unique content exclusively available to its users to make it more exclusive.

Way to Market for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The startup will have to develop its own VR and AR platform using latest technologies like Unity 3D, etc. The startup can tie-up with a broadcaster to run a pilot for broadcasting VR content live, for one of the big events like Super bowl, EPL. This will help in refining the product based on user feedback and fine-tuning the product to make it more attractive and compelling to the target audience. The startup will have to tie up with broadcasters for exclusive and unique live content to be made available to its subscribers through an app after refining the product. The startup can launch the product commercially to its users after partner tie-ups with broadcasters.

Key Milestones for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The design and development of its production platform for AR VR Content have to be completed in the first quarter before a big-ticket sporting event. The startup will also have to ensure that an app is designed in parallel to access this content directly through a mobile phone. The startup can then use the entire duration of the sporting event to get feedback and test the product for any bugs, delays, and compatibility with major Head Mounted Displays like Samsung VR, HTC Vive cardboard, etc. The product has to be launched commercially after the pilot phase on subscription basis immediately after the event. The next six months have to be spent by the start-up to onboard more broadcasters for more live content on its platform.

Investment needed for Prototyping  Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The startup can raise up to $125k from AI startup accelerators like BoostVC, Rothenberg Ventures, ViveX, etc. to develop its app and content production. The startup will have to ensure most of the money raised is utilized in developing and testing the platform. No money should be used for operational expenses like salary and rent.

Team Capability for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The team will need software development professionals with experience in developing Content for AR and VR, preferably hands-on experience inUnity 3D, C#, and JavaScript. The team also would need professionals who have the expertise to capture video in 360°, 3D, or 180° format, encoding it and relaying it live. It would also help to have someone from the broadcasting industry as it would help onboarding broadcasters faster.

Investors/Expert Take for Virtual Reality Stadium for Live Sports

The investors are always looking for the next big idea with the introduction of new technologies in the already crowded technology market. The AR/VR market is expected to grow to $108 billion by 2021. Companies operating in similar space like NextVR and LiveLike have already raised $115 million and $15 million respectively. Some companies are providing VR content live to stream sports content, but the holy grail for a viewer would be the ability to experience watching live sports from courtside for which they could never buy a ticket. If a startup could emulate this experience, that is where both viewers and investors would put their money.

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