Microsoft-NFL deal worth $400 million - Report

As part of multiyear agreement, Microsoft gets rights to create "exclusive interactive experiences for Xbox One and Surface; branding will appear on-field during NFL games.

The wide-ranging deal Microsoft and the National Football League (NFL) announced yesterday during the Xbox One event is worth an estimated $400 million over five years, according to sources speaking with the Associated Press.

As part of the multiyear agreement, Microsoft will have the rights to create "exclusive interactive experiences" through Xbox One and its Surface tablet line. As shown yesterday during the Xbox One reveal presentation, the NFL on Xbox One will allow for new viewing experiences made possible through Skype and Xbox Smartglass.

In addition, Microsoft said its deal with the NFL will be a boon for fantasy football enthusiasts. NFL on Xbox One will enable users to view live games and simultaneously interact with a personalized NFL destination that features player, team, and game information.

"When we started working with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and the team at the NFL we knew that we could create great new experiences that fans would love," Xbox boss Don Mattrick said in a statement. "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."

The Microsoft-NFL agreement will extend beyond the TV screen and into the real world. As part of the deal, NFL coaches will be given Surface tablets to "enhance on-field communications, photo viewing, and play calling." Microsoft believes this could change the way the classic sport is played.

"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," Microsoft said in a statement. "With Microsoft technology, NFL coaches, players, and other personnel will have the technology they need to improve decision-making and on-field performance."

Another result of the partnership will be Surface branding appearing on NFL sidelines on the hoods of the official on-field NFL instant replay stations. In addition, the deal reaffirms the Xbox as "The Official Game Console of the NFL," makes Microsoft "The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL," and Surface and Windows will become "The Official Tablet and PC Operating System of the NFL."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

264 comments
Ta1nted_4ngel29
Ta1nted_4ngel29

So where'd the other $600 million of their $1 billion investment in this console go to, cus i'm sure not even half of it's budget went to gaming.  how much went to comcast and other sports things?

northArrow
northArrow

$400 million dollars and the only thing Xbox owners will get is a fantasy football app?

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

Couple this with them signing that agreement with EA to offer more to the Xbox releases and you'd think that M$ are trying to pigeonhole a portion of the sports simulaiton franchise gamers to their product. You like madden? you like fifa? better get yourself an Xbox. 

Despite liking both those titles I'll still be getting a playstation.

Maize84
Maize84

Well, that's the end of my NFL viewing.  Thank god for college football.

Yatsukiii
Yatsukiii

400+ Million dollars, yet Madden NFL games suck every year.  How is that possible when you have so much money to put into it? lol

steelmouth
steelmouth

now if MS did the same thing with real football then maybe just maybe the xbox sales in other regions not named America could improve

pwc2
pwc2

I like sports games, but this is STUPID!

DarthLod
DarthLod

Hey, look...boring sports games. "moves along"

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

If you are going to talk that much with the NFL, just offer them a Billion to make the next NFL games MS exclusive.
You can afford it, and we know they'll take the money, no matter what you produce.

Tkacz
Tkacz

I agree.  I am a born breed american and want to root for the home team in microsoft but cant.  I just watched the xbox conference and I am stunned stupid from the start.  What/why is it called XBOX ONE? its the third xbox? It should be called microsoft tv box.  They showed roger and nfl and halo tv shows and how its faster than flipping tv channel button.  TV  this tv that tv this tv show.  Here steven spielberg.  WOOOOWWWW .   Is this a tv box or a gamers console.  Did not show not one in game footage it was all cgi commercial trailers.  Dude Its bad.  Just had to rant cuz it was that bad

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

I love the NFL, but how the **** does this help make my games play better????

Is this going to allow me to watch NFL games that I can't currently watch in my market???  if so, then  MAYBE it'll mean something.  If not, then why the **** should I give a **** about ANY of this???

Microsoft has completely lost it's ****ing mind with all of this stuff.  They have forgotten who put them on the map in terms of the games industry.  It wasn't grandmas playing Kinect.  It wasn't fantasy football idiots.  It was GAMERS, and the bastards have completely forgotten about us it seems.

WALKING_nUKE
WALKING_nUKE

Did they even stop to consider that NOBODY watches the NFL outside the US? They already have a strong grip in the US market anyway, why not invest that money in strengthening other markets instead? Heck, with that kind of money, you could've made FIVE GTA Vs!!

sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

All that money could have went into games..... or something not football related....

soulless4now
soulless4now

Biggest waste of money so far this year. 

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

I still dont understand how sports can be monopolized like this legally. 

badwedgie00
badwedgie00

They could actually create more sales if one of their gimmicks to go along with the game would be the ability to chat with some of those NFL players via Xbox Live.

StonerDemon
StonerDemon

For a global machine like the Xbox One, a deal with FIFA would have been smarter. But it seems MS is only interested in US gamers, so I guess it makes sense after all.

chevydriver1123
chevydriver1123

I think for fans that are fans of teams not in their market what matters is if you can watch the games. Currently you can only do that at home via Direct TV, PS3 or if you stream on NFL.com directly, thats what matters to most fans. If there is no Xbox NFL sunday ticket I dont see this taking off. Hell even Verizon got it half right with NFL Red Zone

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

there's only 2 game consoles next gen IMO wii U and ps4... MS is clearly focused on the man child and screwing the consumer as hard as possible, hope this Pos fails.

Supperdude9
Supperdude9

Micro$oft and the No Fun League.  A match made in money-making heaven.

BadMrSnake
BadMrSnake

2013 is a really bad year for Microsoft! 

painpas
painpas

This is getting nuts man. I watch the game at the bar. Wow! 

keepitgreen811
keepitgreen811

It would be cool if you could choose which teams you want to watch and pay per game rather than over-paying for the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV just to get that one non-local team you like to watch.

blackothh
blackothh

how are they going to afford this since they wont be part of this generations console war?

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

I just wonder how much extra it's going to cost the user. Included in the gold subscription...probably not.  

bizuit
bizuit

I was hoping NFL Fever was coming back

pez2k_
pez2k_

I literally could not care less about the NFL. I've only ever met one person who followed American football, since I'm not American. The entire hour's presentation on the Xbox One told me that, other than a ton of stuff that doesn't apply to anyone outside of the USA, they just have two exclusives that they're not willing to show off yet. Obviously all the money's gone on this deal instead.

cwatz12
cwatz12

They spent that much?  For things this pointless?

Who is going to buy a console so they can check their fantasy football team on their tv?

Alecmrhand
Alecmrhand

Yeah but you will have to play Fantasy Football when and where Microsoft and the NFL tell you too.  Very few are going to change their fantasy sports habits in order use their XBox, and even less NFL fans are going to buy an XBox so they can play fantasy football.

This is just another big "huh?...whatever".  I dont know who Microsoft thinks is going to buy their product cause they seem to be focusing on a demographic much different than gamers with all this weird TV stuff.

Most of my friends dont even watch regular TV anymore.  Its like they just made a 400 million dollar deal to make XBox a fantasy football machine....great for both of the guys who is use it, i guess, but most of us couldnt care less.

Im not feeling the Xbox vibe so far.  Im going to start calling it XBox Done, if they dont do something interesting soon.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

Who cares? Microsoft is so desperate for an edge on Sony they waste money on this crap.

EggEmperor
EggEmperor

They're really screwing over Asian market, aren't they?

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

So, if I was a football fan and want to get the most out of it, I'd have to get an XBox One? Fat chance. Screw this monopoly crap.

CWEBB04z
CWEBB04z

I can use my laptop, and cell phone for Fantasy Football updates and watch my games on Sunday Ticket. 


Sw1tched
Sw1tched

Oh, ok cool .... so football games will continue to suck because of monopolization and no competition

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

That's not exactly true. I've been to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and I was able to find the NFL during the season. While not as fanatical, there is interest. The NFL does two and a half times the business that the game industry does in the US, so it would be wise to get in bed with them. They also like baseball in those countries as well. I'm sure they'll offer a soccer package for the EU at some point.

Is it really a problem with the NFL? Or that "gamers" only are knowledgeable about video games and nothing else?

sLAUGHTERhouse0
sLAUGHTERhouse0

@WALKING_nUKE Probably why the TV functionality will be US based at launch, with it gradually opening up to their global market.

steelmouth
steelmouth

@soulless4now and some would consider our game/console collection the biggest money in our lives

playaflyin
playaflyin

@cwatz12 I wouldn't criticize that thought. More people play fantasy football than call of duty. 

XxTheEvilxX
XxTheEvilxX

@CWEBB04z Yes but you can't change the channel without your remote. Xbox has rocked your world with being able to say... "Xbox, watch sports". Isn't that freaking exciting.... (note the sarcasm) LOL

Pyerun
Pyerun

@Sw1tched The biggest reason why football games suck is because the sport sucks.

sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

@therealneoturk @sargentpsgamer They failed to mention what type of games those are. Are they kinect titles? Xbox Arcade titles? What? 

If you look up what their studios are working on, more than half of them have a "kinect title" listed as a work in progress.....

sLAUGHTERhouse0
sLAUGHTERhouse0

@playaflyin and most people that play Fantasy Football do stat tracking via their mobile phone, so why would they need ANOTHER medium to do the same damn thing that they can do on the go?