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A producer edits a 360-degree highlight. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

As 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens threw for his first NFL touchdown Thursday night, a 2-man video crew from Intel was scrambling to create a 360-degree highlight so that Fox could broadcast it minutes later.

Why it matters: The immersive highlight is the latest evolution of technology Intel has been working on for the past couple of years, beginning with its 2016 purchase of Israel's Replay Technologies. Intel has bet big on sports, with then-CEO Brian Krzanich telling Axios last year that he saw it as a potential billion dollar business in the coming years.

Since then, Intel has sped up the time it takes to make its clips. It's also added a new option to show a highlight from any player's point of view, in addition to the signature view, which freezes the action and rotates 360 degrees for a panoramic image.

  • Fun note: For the second 49ers touchdown, minutes later, the crew decided to go with Mullens' point-of-view as he scanned the receivers before throwing to his eventual target.

Details: Intel's cameras are in 13 NFL stadiums (up from 10 last year), and it serves up highlights to broadcasters and teams as well as a dedicated page on NFL.com.

  • The company is also pushing ahead with another technology, TrueVR, that enables sports to be viewed in virtual reality, though the company has slowed its ambitions a bit as VR headset use has failed to live up expectations.

Yes, but: It's far from that point yet, with Intel and its rivals, as well as teams and leagues, still trying to find the right experiences that can either significantly complement, or be a viable alternative to, traditional TV broadcasts.

James Carwana, VP of Intel Sports, likens where the current state of his business to the early days of Netflix, when it was sending out DVDs through the mail, rather than streaming original content.

"I would argue we are in a similar phase."
— Carwana tells Axios

Go deeper

38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.

Scoop: Inside Jake Sullivan's call with U.S. hostages' families

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

National security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke last week with relatives of U.S. hostages and others wrongfully detained abroad, after more than two dozen families expressed frustrations about their inability to get a meeting with him or President Biden, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Participants on the video call, which began at 7pm ET Friday and lasted more than an hour, told Axios they didn't get satisfactory answers to many of their questions. Nonetheless, they were encouraged by Sullivan's commitment to follow up and pledge to be personally available to them and others going forward.

1 hour ago - World

Biden huddles with European allies on Ukraine ahead of Putin call

Putin in the Kremlin. Photo: Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik via Getty

President Biden will seek to convince Russia's Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday that the price of invading Ukraine would be steeper than anything he's faced in the past.

Driving the news: Biden held a call on Ukraine this evening with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., while Secretary of State Tony Blinken called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to offer America's "unwavering support."

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