Mark Tatum: Improving Technology, Virtual Reality To Make NBA ‘More Immersive’ Experience

Mark Tatum, the NBA’s deputy commissioner, said that improvements in 5G technology could lead to further innovations in the fan experience.

Tatum added that the league learned several lessons during the bubble from a technological standpoint.

“As bandwidth speeds get faster, as 5G gets faster, that experience is going to become more immersive, and I do think the opportunities will then grow for people to want to experience that and to adapt to virtual reality,” said Tatum.

Rob Shaw, the head of Global Sports Media and League Partnerships for Facebook, said that several NBA teams have reached out about adding VR seats for season-ticket holders during the upcoming season.

Facebook worked on the “rail-cam” that was used inside of the bubble.

Tatum said that “99% of our fans never step foot in an NBA arena,” so the league needs to work on bringing content to fans outside of television – which could also provide opportunities for new revenue streams.

Tatum added that the league isn’t concerned about declining TV ratings. The league also logged over 300 million YouTube views during the playoffs, a 63% increase from last year.

“We have incredible potential going forward. I think the growth that we’re seeing from our business will only continue to get greater,” added Tatum.

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