NBA using Microsoft Teams to put virtual fans in the stands
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NBA using Microsoft Teams to put virtual fans in the stands

Image via Microsoft/NBA

The NBA will experiment with virtual fans in the stands in the bubble in Orlando, but instead of simulations like Fox Sports is using for its MLB broadcasts, these fans will be actual people, coming to games live via Microsoft Teams.

Today, the league announced that more than 300 fans will be “present” at each game on Michelob Ultra-sponsored 17-foot video boards surrounding the courts. Using Microsoft Teams’ new “Together” mode, the fans will be able to interact with each other and do “virtual cheers” via the NBDA app, NBA.com, or on Twitter using hashtags. You’ll first see them at games beginning July 30.

“Our goal is to create an enjoyable and immersive experience where fans can engage with each other and maintain a sense of community as we restart the season under these unique and challenging circumstances,” Sara Zuckert, NBA Head of Next Gen Telecast, said in a statement via CNet.com.

Here’s another look:

This could actually be cool.

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2021-12-02