Entain, Verizon Media announce immersive video technology alliance | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Citing research revealing interactivity and social media are transforming gaming and entertainment, Verizon Media has announced that it will develop a first of its kind VR experience for live sports viewing as part of deal with international sports-betting and gaming operator Entain.
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Entain brands include Ladbrokes, bwin, PartyPoker and BetMGM and the new alliance coincides with initial findings from new research for Entain by YouGov, revealing that the use of technology is increasingly shaping consumer behaviours in gaming and entertainment around the world, notably in the US and Australia. It revealed that gaming and entertainment is converging across multiple devices and becoming increasingly interactive, with two-thirds of consumers combining it with social media to increase their enjoyment. It also found that social media has become central to consumer enjoyment, with new immersive experiences, driven by virtual reality and 5G, accelerating growth of both gaming and e-sports.

With such findings in mind, Verizon Media and Entain will collaborate to develop what they call a first-of-its-kind immersive proof of concept virtual reality experience, that will combine live sports viewing with interactive layers of sports data and gaming. Consumers will be able to participate in sports events, check data, socialise with friends and place bets.

Entain has also committed to will work closely with Verizon Media to develop concepts for new formats with emerging technologies like 5G, virtual reality, and augmented reality to bring the best experiences in immersive content. Along with betting on the Entain platforms on live streaming sports events, the partners say that the goal is to create realistic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the stadium, participating in play, competing and betting on outcomes on the Entain platforms.

The collaboration builds on an existing relationship between Yahoo Sports, part of Verizon Media, and BetMGM, a joint venture with MGM Resorts through which Entain operates in the US.

“To win in the future we need to understand where consumers will be in five, ten years’ time and work with other global businesses also investing in that,” explained Entain CEO Shay Segev. “We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players.”

“This new alliance takes the collaboration between our two companies to a new level and will allow us both to maximise new opportunities across sports-betting, content and entertainment,” added Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.

“Together, we are building the next-generation of content experiences for sports and gaming fans. Our world-first 5G-enabled production studios in LA and London, creative technology teams and Verizon Media’s Immersive platform, that enables extended reality (XR) content to be created and distributed across digital channels at scale, allow partners like Entain to bring next-level immersive and interactive experiences to their customers.”