Microsoft, NFL Sign Deal Worth $400 Million
Microsoft has signed a $400 million multi-year agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to secure the rights to create exclusive interactive experiences for Xbox One and Surface tablet line.
According to the deal announced on Tuesday during the unveiling of Xbox One, the software giant will develop technology that will make watching football more interactive for fans who use Microsoft's next-gen console and other devices that feature Xbox Live, according to the Associated Press.
The five-year partnership will see Microsoft branding on-field during live games starting this upcoming season. "Fans will get new television viewing innovations, including the ability to watch games, Skype video chat with other fans, view statistics, access highlights in real time and gather fantasy information about players and teams - all on a single screen. For those who prefer multiple screens, fans can get an even deeper experience on mobile devices and tablets with SmartGlass technology," the AP writes.
As the partnership takes shape, Microsoft will start branding its products on the hoods of the referee's on-field instant replay station and other sideline areas as early as this season. The company will also provide Surface tablets to coaches or coordinators to help in-game planning and for play calling.
"This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and interactive content that you will find only on Xbox," boss Don Mattrick says in a statement. "For fans, the NFL on Xbox will provide the most complete way to enjoy live football by bringing the first fully integrated fantasy football experience to the TV."
"Microsoft and the NFL envision a sideline of the future with players reviewing in-game photos from different camera angles directly from the sideline and head coaches calling plays off connected Surface tablets instead of today's static paper products," the Microsoft statement says. "With Microsoft technology, NFL coaches, players, and other personnel will have the technology they need to improve decision-making and on-field performance."