NBA games will air live in immersive entertainment company Cosm’s soon-to-debut experiential viewing venues as part of a multiyear partnership announced Thursday.
Cosm (pronounced Caws-em) launched in 2020 with a vision of creating so-called “Shared Reality” spaces built around large-scale domed LED screens.
“It’s the immersive industry and the experience economy—that’s the overlap where we land,” Cosm CEO Jeb Terry said in an interview. “So whatever R’s come out—AR, VR, XR, MR—we’re right in the middle of it.”
The venues share some characteristics with large-format movie theaters or planetariums, and some elements of a high-tech sports bar, but Cosm prefers not to compare its experience to existing alternatives. “It’s just Cosm,” Terry said. “There is really nothing like it.”
Sitting next to Terry, NBA associate VP for new media partnerships Teddy Kaplan took his best stab at explaining the appeal. “It feels like you are in a piece of media—you’re sitting in this piece of media,” he said. “You’ve been to a sports bar. This is just a sports bar that makes you feel like you’re at the game.”
Cosm will use multi-camera setups to capture content at select games. The NBA is the company’s first pro sports league partner, though Terry said the plan is to add more sports content, in addition to other forms of entertainment, such as music.
“Sports is the core anchor,” Terry said. “We’ll be rounding out that slate.”
The Cosm locations will also offer benefits to members of the NBA ID loyalty program that the league launched last year. The two sides will be demonstrating the tech during this weekend’s All-Star festivities in Salt Lake City, where Cosm’s research and development facility is located. The company, owned by Dallas-based Mirasol Capital, is also developing locations in that city, as well as Los Angeles.
“The NBA loves to innovate, and especially different media, different forms of our content,” Kaplan said. “This is the natural step in that…. Our fans have grown to demand and expect that kind of innovation from us.”