Table tennis is set to move into the virtual reality broadcasting world with a test broadcast organised for the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha, Qatar on 8-11 December 2016.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has partnered with SECA who owns ITTF’s Chinese Digital rights from 2017, to make the move into virtual reality and become a world leader in the new age of broadcast.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated: “The ITTF is very excited about this momentous step forward in the way we will broadcast events. We are sure, that virtual reality will be a big hit amongst table tennis and sport fans and will improve the popularity of table tennis broadcast significantly. Table tennis was the first ever video game, with Pong being released in 1972, so we are very excited to again be a leader in digital innovation. Due to China being such a strong market for table tennis, we are confident that SECA, who is based in China are the best partners to move into this new frontier.”
The virtual reality broadcast will eventually allow fans to watch the table tennis match from any position inside the venue. This means, a fan could watch the match from the umpires, or coaches’ perspective, or sit up in the VIP seats to get a prime view of the world’s best table tennis player battling for gold.
SECA CEO and Founder LI Sheng added: “SECA is delighted to bolster our partnership with ITTF in pushing the sport of table tennis to new frontiers. As the leadings sports marketing company in China, SECA is always looking to service sports fans both in China and Worldwide through the newest technologies. Together with ITTF, we firmly believe virtual reality and augmented reality is the technology of the future, and that table tennis is the perfect sport to start this revolution.”
Once the test has been successfully conduced at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, the ITTF & SECA plan to roll out virtual reality broadcasts at key ITTF events in 2017 to bring table tennis into the virtual realm.