Connect with us
blank

Sports Radio News

Guber Bets On NextVR’s Future

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

Warriors owner Joe Lacob gets most of the ink when it comes to telling the story behind his team’s amazing success. He’s the principal stakeholder. The guy who put the group together.

But Peter Guber — Lacob’s co-owner — is the mad scientist behind the scenes. He’s the Hollywood schmoozer who can mesmerize a room with his fast-talking shtick. The guy you want to have a martini with.

He also happens to be a guy who can see the future.

That much was evident Friday night at Oracle Arena, where an innovative group of tech types came out to show off what could be a true game-changer in broadcasting. A company called NextVR, based in Laguna Beach (Orange County), has come up with a broadcasting platform that allows you to put on a funky pair of goggles, plug in your smartphone and suddenly, magically, be standing courtside at an NBA game.

Players run past you as though you were at the scorer’s table, waiting to check in. You can follow the ball, or look up at the scoreboard. Shoot, you can watch the vendors walking up and down the aisles if you want. Bottom line is that the world of three-dimensional virtual reality is upon us. And it’s no surprise that Guber is one of the leading voices evangelizing the technology’s merits.

Keep innovating

“Innovation,” he says, in a gravelly voice that still has a hint of New York in it somewhere. “If you don’t have that, you have stagnation. Then eradication.”

It’s a classic Guber line, delivered with pure sincerity and belief. The former head of Sony Pictures made a fortune with movies like “Rain Man” and “Batman.” He knows how to pitch a product. But after all these years and all that money, he still gets excited by the latest shiny dime. He’s a true believer in change.

“If you can think of the conceit,” Guber says excitedly, urgently, “you are in charge. You are a participant instead of a passenger. This is a game-changer of location-based entertainment.”

It’s hard to argue.

NextVR is one of a handful of companies trying to capitalize on emerging virtual reality technology, both in the gaming and broadcasting space. This particular company has partnered its software and broadcast expertise with Facebook’s Oculus gaming technology, along with the muscle of Samsung’s hardware developers, to produce a device that’s truly remarkable.

While there are market ready versions of the NextVR available right now, the technology is still probably a year or two from mass-market adoption. But if these virtual reality companies can make the right deals with pro sports … and gaming companies … and retailers … the possibilities are truly endless. One NextVR executive estimated a market of 200,000 units. Within a few years, the company envisions a market of 200 million units.

The future of broadcasting?

I looked into a pair of virtual reality glasses at Friday night’s Warriors game and saw the future of broadcasting.

A software company called NextVR from Laguna Beach was on hand to demonstrate the latest technology used to broadcast something like an NBA game. And the Warriors-Mavericks game was a perfect test.

The device, made by Samsung in concert with Facebook’s Oculus and NextVR, works by snapping a Samsung 6 phone into the viewfinder of a device that looks like a pair of fancy ski goggles. The results are stunning. The game is shot using a 3-D courtside camera (shooting 60,000 frames per second) and beamed to the phone’s screen. Then the headgear translates it into a virtual reality, with very realistic depth.

“It’s intended to make you feel like you’re there,” said NextVR co-founder Dave Cole, who started the company in 2009 with business partner D.J. Roller.

Once the game action starts and you put the goggles on, the results are remarkable. You feel as if you’re standing courtside, and you can see the players running past you. You also have the ability to control the field of vision. You can look left, right, up or down. And you don’t have to follow the ball.

It’s like being there … virtually. And that’s the whole point.

NextVR and its partners have a version of this technology available for sale already, although on a limited basis. They hope to make it a mass-market product in the next year or two.

To read the full story visit the SF Chronicle where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

blank

Published

on

blank

WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

blank

Published

on

Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

blank

Published

on

blank

The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.