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Apple to buy sports VR tech company NextVR

Dragan Bender of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball against the LA Clippers (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

US technology giant Apple has reached an agreement to acquire virtual reality technology company NextVR.

Apple confirmed the purchase to CNBC, and although terms of the deal were not disclosed, the 9to5mac.com website reported that the acquisition values NextVR at around $100m (€92.3m).

In a brief statement on the holding page of its website, NextVR said that it is “heading in a new direction” and thanked its partners and fans for helping to build the platform.

Apple told CNBC: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Live VR, the company’s virtual reality system, has been tested at various sports events in recent years.

In October, NextVR expanded its agreement with the NBA Digital arm of the North American basketball league. Under the agreement, NextVR will continue as the official live VR partner of the NBA during the 2019-20 season.

As part of the deal, NextVR will feature a top game each week throughout the regular season, available to subscribers to the NBA League Pass streaming service within the NextVR app. The deal also covers weekly immersive, stereoscopic 3D game broadcasts, full game replays, highlights and other on-demand content.

NextVR has also provided its technology services to with US wrestling organisation WWE, the NFL American football league and the US Open tennis grand slam.

In August 2016, NextVR and Fox Sports, the US-based pay-television broadcaster, showed the opening match of the 2016-17 Bundesliga season in virtual reality in selected countries on a Fox Sports portal on the NextVR platform.