Sci-tech

NBA fans to appear virtually on video boards

NBA fans to appear virtually on video boards”

To give fans the feeling of sitting together at a game, they will interact using Microsoft Teams' "Together mode," which removes fans from their individual backgrounds and brings them together in a shared visual space that will be seen both through the broadcast and in the venue.

Heads and chests of more than 300 fans per game will appear on boards at the sides and ends of courts on 17-foot videoboards, five rows of people on each bringing a look of spectators when none will be courtside.

While fans might not be able to be part of the on-sight action, the league has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into ways they can create an exciting, participatory experience for fans at home.

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More than 300 National Basketball Association fans each game will be invited to appear live on 17-foot video boards that will surround the court at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, where the remainder of the season and the playoffs will be held.

Alongside a view of their fellow fans, participants can watch a live feed of the game right within Teams, while players and viewers will still experience the energy and support of fans' real-time reaction.

The NBA and Microsoft announced their partnership in April, explaining at the time that they would collaborate on next-generation experiences for basketball fans that include "a new fan engagement platform offering personalized, live, and on-demand game broadcasts; historical video archives; and unique insights and analysis for NBA fans, coaches, and broadcasters". More than 30 cameras, including many in robotic form, will be repositioned closer to the court and showcase never-before-seen camera angles in places that are otherwise not accessible with fans in the arena. There also are microphones around the court to pick up sounds of the game more clearly. Fans can digitally cheer for their team through the NBA App and NBA.com and on Twitter using team hashtags throughout the game. Fans will also be able to feature their videos through TikTok and Snapchat.

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