Sports Entertainment & Virtual Reality

Media.Monks Live 180 Immersive VR Production Connects Fans to Exclusive Content & Interactions

The Event

Media.Monks, is a digital-first marketing and advertising services company that connects content, data & digital media, and technology services across one global team built from the bottom up. The organization has a stellar roster of clients in sports, consumer goods, food and beverage, technology, and other vertical markets. Media.Monks continues to push the limits of technology to bring real-time filmmaking, visual effects, previsualization, virtual production, and CG animation together to create unique experiences for its clients’ target audiences.

Media.Monks recently created fully immersive interactive virtual shows for a professional sports organization and social media platform leveraging LiveU’s HEVC portable encoder as the live transmission delivery solution. The organization is developing innovative content using cellular bonded technology to remove the connectivity challenges associated with congested venues, stadiums, and arenas.

The Challenge

Media.Monks was tasked with producing a live show during a basketball game featuring camera views they wouldn’t normally get to feed into the 4K/60/180-degree VR environment. The production team was looking for a way to increase the production capabilities without adding cameras. The budget was also a concern. “We needed to keep costs down, which required us to look at options that would eliminate cabling, but also maintain the high-quality video that our clients expect,” noted Patrick Jones, Broadcast & Films Senior Technical Manager, Media.Monks.

The LiveU Solution

Media.Monks incorporated a LiveU LU800 portable field-level live streaming encoder into the production, which allowed them to send a single 4K UHD feed to the virtual reality environment. The show took fan engagement to another level, allowing the VR audience to get exclusive live content including games and trivia in between plays, the ability to interact with other VR users, and the chance to take photos within the VR environment and share them on social media.

The LiveU provided 4-5 static views of the action. Running the show untethered enabled Media.Monks to quickly access player arrivals, team huddles, and fans walking the corridor. With the portability of the LiveU LU800, the production crew could pick up and reposition the camera without ever losing the live transmission.

With today’s social distancing guidelines still in place, a cloud-based production workflow reduces costs and minimizes on-site staff, without ever compromising the quality of the live production.
Live VR has connected brands to its followers/fans in new ways and changed consumer buying habits. We expect companies like Media.Monks to continue pushing the technology limits and developing solutions to enhance the sports entertainment experience on the court, on the field, or on stage.

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The pandemic impacted every aspect of sports such as ticket sales, sponsorships, and merch sales. Sports venues, producers, teams, and associations needed to get creative to recoup some of those losses in revenue. They blended high-quality production, broadcast, and streaming capabilities into emerging technologies like Virtual Reality to increase the spread of sports, fan engagement, and profitability.

VR has exploded in a big way over the last few years and most recently, brought the energy of being at a home game back to die-hard fans across the country. In fact, live VR experiences have never been more affordable, giving fans access to exclusive content, a trip to a venue or city they may never physically get to, plus court side seats next to their favorite celebs! And for businesses and sports organizations, live VR drove fan engagement and new revenue streams.