Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Buy Beer, Get Hockey

As you're probably aware, I have a bit of thing for this game of hockey. I like good stories, I enjoy watching the game, and I really should get to more live games than I currently attend. I'm also a bit of a techie in that I work in the field for my job as well as keep a close eye on the happenings around the tech world so that I may be informed if anyone has questions. Being that I like hockey, I am aware of what the adult beverage of choice is at most games, so seeing today's announcement from Sportsnet and Molson Canadian was rather exciting for a hockey fan like myself!

I have yet to see one of these new cases of Molson Canadian, but according to the release today there are "special virtual reality viewfinders" inside "select cases of Molson Canadian across Canada". There viewfinders will allow fans to watch NHL hockey broadcasts via Sportsnet in virtual reality from their own homes using 360 VR (Virtual Reality) on and the Sportsnet app! In other words, it will be like you're at the game without ever leaving the comfort of your own home!

Ok, maybe I'm a little too excited for this development. I've seen some virtual reality ideas already that have been incredibly cool, but seeing live broadcasts of hockey in virtual reality is a whole new dimension of viewing live hockey. According to today's statement,
For six consecutive Saturday night hockey broadcasts, fans will be able to watch the games live in 360 VR on and the Sportsnet app by using special virtual reality viewfinders. These viewfinders are currently available exclusively in select cases of Molson Canadian across Canada. Three different 360 VR cameras will be used during the games, allowing viewers to experience the live action on the ice and take in the arena's lively atmosphere. Adding to the immersive experience, fans can also watch behind-the-scenes footage from select NHL® teams and on-demand highlight videos – all in 360 VR.
Ok, colour me anxious to try this service out. I'll be scouring the aisles at my local adult beverage store the next time I'm there for one of these virtual reality viewfinders so that I can get a better sense of whether or not you should spend some money on Molson Canadian product. Any product endorsement on this blog is only done with some vigorous testing of said product!

As per the statement, the following games will be available via the virtual reality offering:
  • Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks on February 18
  • Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs on February 25
  • Detroit Red Wings @ Edmonton Oilers on March 4
  • Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets on March 11
  • Chicago Blackhawks @ Toronto Maple Leafs on March 18
  • Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens on March 25
Let me make something very clear: I do not work for Molson Canadian so I cannot tell you how to get a viewfinder without actually going down to your local adult beverage store and finding a specially-marked case while supplies last! The limited-edition viewfinders come with a PIN code which is used for accessing the content via Sportsnet. If you have any further questions on this, please follow this link for more information that will hopefully answer your questions!

If I happen to get my hands on one of these VR viewfinders, expect a full review. If you get one, send it through and I'll feature it here. I'd love to see if this virtual reality idea is really the next big thing in sports broadcasting.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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