NFL and Microsoft Sign Partnership to Bring Interactive Experiences through Xbox One

May 22, 2013

The National Football League (NFL) has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Microsoft that will see ‘exclusive interactive experiences’ made available through the new Xbox One.

Dubbed the NFL on Xbox, the initiative will allow fans to transform how they watch football by bringing in Microsoft products like Skype and SmartGlass companion apps.

Teams will have access to various Microsoft solutions such as tablet devices to improve play-calling and on-field communications.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft said: “We love the passion that players, coaches and fans bring to the NFL game; it’s what makes the NFL game-day experience so unique.

“We’re excited to apply our passion for technology to the NFL experience, both on the sidelines through the innovative use of Microsoft Surface devices, and for fans through an enhanced NFL viewing experience on Xbox One.”

$400m deal for five years

ESPN’s Darren Rovell claimed the deal was worth $400m over five years, but official confirmation from the NFL was not forthcoming.

As a part of the deal Microsoft will become the NFL’s official sideline technology sponsor, with their Surface tablet product and Windows operating systems gaining official designations also.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell commented: “From the use of instant replay to the yellow first-down line that has become an important element of the at-home television viewing experience, the NFL is committed to leveraging technology to improve our game for coaches, players and fans.

“We’re thrilled to be teaming with a true innovator like Microsoft to shape the future of the NFL game experience, both on-field and in the living room.”

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, added: “When we started working with Roger Goodell and the team at the NFL we knew that we could create great new experiences that fans would love.

“This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and interactive content that you will find only on Xbox. 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, exclusively through Xbox.”

Microsoft and the NFL originally partnered in 2011 in a move that many thought would see the replacement of Motorla as the league’s official headset supplier.

Xbox is also the NFL’s official game console.

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