Fox Sports upgrading Charlotte NASCAR studio, going virtual

Fox Sports is taking its NASCAR coverage virtual next year, investing in a multipurpose virtual studio to replace its Charlotte production space.

Using Zero Density’s Reality, which is powered by Epic Game’s Unreal Engine rendering technology, the studio will be able to accommodate multiple programs and looks, such as “NASCAR RaceHub” and “NASCAR RaceDay.”

The move marks one of the largest investments by a U.S. sports broadcaster in daily virtual production, with this level of investment typically seen only for special event coverage.

To make the studio possible, Fox is installing a 50’ x 47’ green wall studio with five Stype Red Spy–encoded cameras including one Steadicam and one jib.

Example of AR graphics layered into the virtual space.

Both virtual and augmented reality graphics will be possible within the space, allowing presenters such as Adam Alexander to interact with 3D graphics and illustrations in real time.

“Innovation and ‘what’s next’ thinking have defined the FOX Sports approach from Day 1,” said Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports.

“Working with industry leaders and integrating cutting-edge technology has produced one of the most advanced studios in sports. We are extremely excited to show it off early next year as we get viewers ready for the 2019 Daytona 500 on FOX.”

To preview the move, Fox Sports has released this teaser video showing what is possible, noting, however, that this is not the final look that will debut in February 2019 during Daytona Speedweeks.

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