Verizon has partnered with the NFL to offer live viewing parties and AR replay features during the season which kicks off today.
Like everything this year, football will be very different courtesy of COVID-19.
The draft was held virtually for the first time. Between August 30th and September 5th, there were 44,510 tests administered to a total of 8,349 players and team personnel. Many teams have even created “bubbles” to prevent COVID-19 ruining their chances at getting a ring this season.
But it’s not just those on the field that have been impacted. Some stadiums won’t have fans in attendance this year, while others will only allow limited numbers around the 10-25% capacity mark. People will be attending fewer gatherings in homes to watch games as they help to protect their friends and family.
Verizon and the NFL are helping to bring the social aspect back to this year’s season by launching two new features.
The first, Watch Together, enables fans to connect using video chat with their friends for free while simultaneously watching live local and primetime games via the Verizon-owned Yahoo Sports app. Up to three friends and family members can be invited to join the synchronised livestream.
Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said:
“Watch Together is a result of Verizon Media and NFL’s innovative spirit to deliver next-gen experiences that create connection and community.
Leveraging Verizon Media’s ecosystem, technology and streaming capabilities, we have the unique ability to create powerful and immersive entertainment experiences of the future like no other.”
Yahoo Sports will also add an AR experience called Yahoo Sports PlayAR, which enables fans to see graphical replays of big moments wherever they are. A press release claims “the NFL’s Next Gen Stats proprietary tracking data on-screen with enhanced games stats for players.”
Watch Together will launch today (Sept 10th) in time for the season kickoff game between last year’s Superbowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans.
It’s a weird year, but sport can still play its part in bringing some normality back. Stay safe and good luck to whatever team you’re supporting this season.
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