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."