Samsung to provide UFC's first ever VR broadcast as part of live entertainment pass for Gear VR users

Samsung's Gear VR partnership with the UFC begins this weekend

Samsung has formed a virtual reality (VR) partnership with the UFC as part of a major push to market its Gear VR as an innovative live entertainment platform.

Owners of Samsung's Gear VR will be able to watch UFC 212, where Jose Aldo will defend the featherweight title against interim champion Max Holloway, for free this Saturday (3 June).

The offering is part of Samsung's new VR Live Pass which sees the electronics giant partner with UFC, X Games and Live Nation to offer Gear VR owners the chance to experience live entertainment through an immersive 360-degree broadcast. The pass is available across multiple regions – 45 countries in total – and will be free.

Younghee Lee, chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, said the partnerships would allow it to "expand our VR services and help us to open up a new gateway of opportunities for fans and demonstrate our commitment to delivering experiences that make the seemingly impossible, possible".

UFC's chief operating officer, Ike Lawrence Epstein, described Samsung's 360-degree broadcast of this weekend's PPV event in Rio de Janeiro, as a "game-changing initiative".

"We’ve always felt that the potential of combining UFC events with virtual reality would give our fans the ultimate enhanced experience," said Epstein. He added that the partnership would "further revolutionize how fight fans consume our content and live events around the world".

In addition to showing UFC 212, Samsung's free VR broadcast will also include pre-event and post-event show highlights.

The X Games partnership will kick off at the X Games Minneapolis which take place between 13-16 July and Live Nation's VR content will begin to appear in August.

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Tony Connelly

I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This includes breaking news as well as writing feature pieces with insights from experts in the sports marketing world.

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