It’s been quite the day for Xbox One news today. From learning about Skype integration, to talking about a more social experience with the new console, it appears that Microsoft is committed to blurring the lines between gaming and home entertainment. Lost in the technical reveals was an announcement that the Redmond giant is teaming up with the NFL to enhance football for players, coaches, and fans.
At the Xbox Reveal event, Microsoft announced a multi-year partnership with the NFL. The deal, worth a reported $400 million over five years, allows Microsoft to provide technologies that enhance the fan experience. While vague, phrases like “all-new viewing experience” and “innovative fantasy football solution” stuck out. We’re hoping this means we’ll be able to watch different angles from the game, in real time, as well as potentially track an individual player on the field through SmartGlass on our phone or tablet, but overlays of your fantasy football team during the game are probably more near-term realities.
In addition, Microsoft is bringing much-needed technology to the sidelines. Coaches currently hold a clipboard and players scour over printed pieces of paper, but the new partnership will put Microsoft Surface tablets on the sideline, giving players and coaches instant video, stats and more. The move will give the Surface even more visibility and speaks to Microsoft’s long-term vision for tablet.
The deal gives the Xbox console the moniker of, “Official Game Console of the NFL,” and adds, “The Official Interactive Video Entertainment Console” as well. Microsoft becomes the “Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL,” and Surface and Windows become “The Official Tablet and PC Operating System of the NFL.” The Microsoft logo will also appear on the instant replay stations, amongst other unannounced places.