2016 Big East men’s basketball tournament kicks off March 9 on FS1, FOX Sports GO app – and in virtual reality

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FOX Sports is taking the Big East men’s basketball tournament where it’s never been before: virtual reality. The 2016 tournament, which kicks off Wednesday, March 9, at Madison Square Garden, will be aired on FS1 through the semifinals, with the final airing Saturday, March 12, on FOX. All games will be available for streaming on the FOX Sports GO app.

Thanks to a partnership between FOX Sports and NextVR, the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games of the 2016 Big East Tournament will be broadcast around the world in virtual reality, a first for college basketball tournaments. A total of seven games and more than 15 hours of live virtual reality coverage will be streamed over a span of three days.

The live, high-definition virtual reality stream will include audio and graphics highlighted player stats, scores and game updates, according to the announcement.

“Fans want to be a part of the action and virtual reality takes the fan experience to the next level,” said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports President, COO and Executive Producer. “Our relationship with NextVR comes at a time as the demand to enjoy these amazing ‘like being there’ experiences expands.”

FOX Sports and NextVR partnered to air the Daytona 500 and a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) fight in virtual reality earlier this year.

21st Century Fox is a leader in the creation of innovative virtual reality content, and 20th Century Fox is the first studio with an R&D center to drive the development of innovative technology and new consumer experiences across all digital platforms, in partnership with leading electronics companies. The Fox Innovation Lab introduced the proof-of-concept experience “Wild – The Experience” at CES last year. “The Martian VR Experience” was the lab’s first commercial virtual reality endeavor, in partnership with 20th Century Fox, RSA Films and The Virtual Reality Company.

In January, 21CF acquired a minority stake in Osterhout Design Group, a leading augmented and virtual reality and smartglasses designer and manufacturer.

The 2016 Big East Tournament starts Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m. EST on FS1 and FOX Sports GO. To see the rest of the schedule, go to FoxSports.com. Download the FOX Sports GO app to stream the games from your mobile device.