Emerging Tech, Data & Media

MLB promises ultra reality viewing in NTT tie-up

Japanese tech firm to install real-time super HD cameras to upgrade broadcast.

by Sam Carp

MLB promises ultra reality viewing in NTT tie-up

Major League Baseball (MLB) has penned a three-year global partnership with Japanese technology giant NTT to provide fans with an ultra reality viewing (URV) experience.

NTT’s URV technology will use real-time super-high-definition video captured using multiple 4K cameras to offer viewers of the North American baseball league the opportunity to watch games as if they were live at the ballpark or even on the field.

MLB and NTT said they plan to roll out a prototype URV experience at select upcoming games.

As part of the deal, which was announced at MLB headquarters in New York, NTT will also become the title sponsor of the MLB Network Ballpark Cam, which is installed at all 30 ballparks to capture pre-game and post-game on-field footage and live on-camera interviews for studio shows on the league’s dedicated television sports channel.

In addition, NTT will also be listed as the official MLB fan experience partner for ultra reality viewing, securing brand visibility across the league’s various distribution channels including digital, mobile, social, offline and television.

“We’re excited NTT has committed to building an expanded baseball technology portfolio and we eagerly anticipate what the partnership will deliver for clubs and fans,” said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

“Sharing, and executing on, a vision to leverage advanced technologies to benefit baseball fans will serve as the foundation for how our NTT partnership will explore and experiment with unique ways to create new baseball experiences.”

NTT, which is also the title sponsor of motorsport’s IndyCar Series, is the first Japan-based information technology firm to become an official partner of MLB in the US. The company’s URV experience is already used in Japan for soccer games.

“Based on our heritage of innovation and successful implementation experience, we will contribute to MLB’s success by creating a new fan experience with our unique Ultra Reality Viewing technology,” said NTT president and chief executive Jun Sawada. “Through this partnership, NTT aims to establish the valuable technology solution that brings smart sports to life.”