Reminder: You Can Watch The World Cup In VR Using PSVR

A week or two ago the BBC announced that they would be broadcasting the games on their schedule in both 4K via iPlayer, and VR via PlayStation VR and other VR devices. E3 got in the way of the start of the tournament, but here’s you handy reminder that the PSVR app is now available to download for free from the store.

You can get the app by clicking here.

Once it’s downloaded just wait until the BBC are broadcasting a match, log on to the app, put on your fancy hat and off yo go. You can view the match from an virtual executive box, or from behind the goal at either end of the pitch.

Source: PS Store

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  1. As someone who isn’t interested in football, I gave it a go anyway. It’s an interesting early experiment in VR for the BBC, which hopefully they’ll improve on for future events.

    It’s got some flaws though. It takes 2 or 3 seconds to switch between the 3 different views (the box and the 2 goals), which might be annoying if you actually care about not missing anything.

    And it doesn’t show you the score anywhere, which seems like a major issue.

    Also, it needs quite a significant chunk of bandwidth. Possibly up to about 20Mbit/s. Which is about as much as you’re going to get to a PS4 over WiFi.

    The little bald dude is entertaining though. Spent half my time wondering where he’d gone. He was getting coffee. Then came and hopped up onto the sofa next to me.

    Actually, I want the BBC to do a VR thing where you can watch sport (or music, or whatever) and all be wandering around as a little bald dude (or some other character) and sit next to people and watch together.

  2. I’m guessing this is UK only? (Please say it isn’t, I really would love to give this a go)

    • There may be ways to pretend you’re in the UK and access it from other places. Although it may be tricky to download it in the first place. (I suspect convincing the store you’re in the UK is trickier than just needing an EU account. Not like “I’m in the US, honest” to download from the US store)

      But obviously that would be wrong if you’re not paying the BBC through a TV licence. And the high bandwidth requirements might cause issues if you’re not really in the UK.

  3. I do live in the UK myself and tried this yesterday. Honestly it’s amazing, way better than I expected. The only downside is the lower resolution. But the virtual TV screen of replays and closer to the ball action helps with that.

    But I don’t understand why this isn’t made available to outside of the UK at a cost. Can’t the BBC charge a small per game fee of some sort? Seems like a lot of lost revenue for them and massively limits viewers considering the smallish VR user base.

    I just feel it’s too good to be limited to UK only.

    • I’m sure the BBC would love to charge people to watch it outside the UK.

      But they wouldn’t be allowed. Other broadcasters would have the rights to show it in other countries.

      Even the new EU rules on streaming video services don’t apply and force them to allow access in other EU countries. That only seems to apply to paid services, and there’s probably special rules for sport because it’s special or something.

      • Yeah, I did think that may be the case. I guess they couldn’t even license out the tech either.

        Thinking about it. I know it’s not exactly the same thing but the TV series The Office was a UK based BBC show that was made into an American series. So maybe they could change a few things around and other companies that’re airing these football matches could use it in some way.

        Probably still not possible and unlikely. A shame really.

      • I think the VR app is made by someone else. Who knows what contracts were signed there. The BBC might own it all, or whoever made it might still own it and just be licensing it to the BBC.

        If any other foreign broadcasters were to show it in VR, they might be able to license it, or build their own version. Presumably the actual video itself is provided by someone else for the BBC. A Russian broadcaster maybe? At least, I’m assuming every single broadcaster in the world hasn’t got a load of cameras on the pitch. It’d be chaos that way. But possibly more interesting to watch than football.

        Things like a US version of a BBC show aren’t quite the same. I might be wrong, but I’m fairly sure most of those are made by someone else for the BBC, and the can pretty much sell the format to whoever they want. Sometimes with the same people involved. I’ve a feeling the BBC generally keep the rights for the UK version, so they can sell it worldwide. Works somewhat differently in the US, where they often only get the rights to show it first, and don’t get any of the money from selling it to other countries and streaming services. (I think that was the problem with the excellent The Expanse getting cancelled after 3 series. SyFy were paying lots for it, but only for first-run rights in the US. The production company were getting all the money from Netflix streaming it everywhere else. So it got cancelled because they weren’t making money. Thankfully, Jeff Bezos likes it and can afford to throw money at it to get more made)

        Basically, the rights for anything the BBC and all other broadcasters show are a big confusing mess, and that’s why we can’t have nice things.

  4. I mean broadcasters who are already airing the matches of course.

  5. It’s working well for me. Watching Belguim v Panama on my PS4 Pro in UHD :)

  6. Or even Belgium – sorry Belgium :(

  7. The problem comes from the way the BBC is funded, from license money. There was an issue a few years ago with the iplayer, where ITV got upset because the iplayer was funded by license money. Which is why the ITVPlayer is essentially a skinned version of the iplayer. Or so I heard…

    • Not getting confused with Project Kangaroo there? Would have had BBC, ITV and Channel 4 stuff all in one place. But wasn’t allowed because reasons.

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