Breeders’ Cup taps Facebook’s Oculus for live race VR content

Premier horse event to offer expansive virtual content for fans shut out of 2020 edition.

by Steven Impey

Breeders’ Cup taps Facebook’s Oculus for live race VR content
  • Oculus Quest will provide live streams from 80 on-site cameras
  • Virtual live streams available via Venues social viewing app

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships has partnered with Facebook’s Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) platform to create real-time content for the elite horse racing series’ 2020 edition.

With this year’s instalment scheduled to take place without spectators between 6th and 7th November, the partnership is designed to offer Oculus headset users the opportunity to experience Keeneland Race Track virtually.

Oculus Quest will provide live streams from a record 80 cameras on-site at the event. Those include a new ‘Contender Cam’, which offers 14 individual live streams of the horses in each race; two ‘Jockey Cams’, which provide first-person views from participating jockeys; and the venue’s high-speed, mobile ‘BatCam’.

Access to Oculus content from the event will be available via the social viewing app Venues.

“With fans not allowed to attend this year’s World Championships, Venues presented the perfect opportunity to create a truly immersive live experience,” said Justin McDonald, the Breeders’ Cup’s senior vice president for marketing.

“This broadcast completely reinvigorates the remote viewing experience and brings fans closer to the World Championships than ever before.”

The Oculus platform is already used for other sporting and entertainment events, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Both collaborations enable subscribers to watch live games available on the NBA and MLB’s respective League Pass and MLB.tv streaming services via an Oculus headset.