Why Angelenos Can’t Watch the LA Clippers in VR

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Why Angelenos Can’t Watch the LA Clippers in VR

In January, Meta announced that the company had expanded its partnership with the NBA to offer 52 games in VR (virtual reality). According to TechCrunch, the first local game available on VR was the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game on Sunday, January 29.

As an avid follower of the NBA and someone who enjoys watching basketball games in-person, I had to test this out. The idea, according to Meta, is to give people who own a Meta Quest headset a “front row seat to NBA games,” with additional access to select WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League games over the course of the season.


Considering one front row ticket to watch the Los Angeles Clippers can amount to $600, the price of a Meta Quest headset at $399, seemed like a steal.

Once I figured out how to maneuver through the app, I was prompted to download the Xtadium app, which is Meta’s co-watching sports hub where fans can watch games.

In addition to NBA games, Xtadium also gives Meta Quest owners access to on-demand versions of Nascar races, mixed martial arts (MMA) matches and live coverage of matches from the All American Cup – Team Tennis Tournament.

But on Sunday morning, an hour before the game, when I turned on the headset and clicked into Xtadium, I was faced with bold capital text that read “GEO-RESTRICTED.” Basically, since I live in Los Angeles, where I should add, is home to the greatest number of Clippers fans, VR access to watch the game was prohibited.

Why was this happening?

The reason for these geo restrictions is due to the deals that each basketball team has with various networks. For instance, the Los Angeles Clippers partnered with Bally Sports SoCal, who is the only network that has the rights to broadcast, televise and steam Clipper games during the regular season. This means that no other network or platform is allowed to televise the game, including Meta’s partnership with the NBA’s League pass platform.

So I reached out to Meta for confirmation and one Meta representative told me, “unfortunately, those geo-restrictions won’t be lifted in the future. We abide by NBA League Pass rules and those are the rules they have put in place.”

According to the Sporting News, the same restrictions that apply to Angelenos also exist within 28 other cities that host the NBA's 30 franchises. There are certain blackout restrictions that exist in the U.S. and Canada because local and national content providers in the U.S. have certain exclusive rights to televise live games and content.

The NBA website also states that locally blacked out games will be available 3 days after the live broadcast. But who wants to watch a basketball game 3 days after everyone else has seen it?

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports
Samson Amore

According to a Forbes report last April, both the viewership and dollars behind women’s sports at a collegiate and professional level are growing.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

Read moreShow less

LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
Trending