Microsoft will soon be a presence on the field and in your home as part of the NFL fan’s game watching experience as the team has joined with the league to provide interactive viewing capabilities to fans in a five year deal that is estimated to bring an additional $400 million to the NFL’s coffers
There is a catch of sorts, you need to be viewing using Microsoft’s Xbox One game console or that use other devices that feature Xbox Live. For the fans that have that technology they can now permit users to have spit screens that show stats, fantasy football team data and game highlights in real time, among other things.
It will also support Skype so that fans can be using the same device to watch games as well as chat with other fans or friends during the game. Other features include access to the NFL’s RedZone and replays from a matchup. Also if a user has a second screen or mobile device they can have additional information sent to that device simultaneously as when they are viewing on the Xbox One.
The deal could lead to another solid plus for Microsoft. Over the last few years a number of teams in the National Football League have talked about their use of Apple’s iPads as a training tool and a superior replacement to the traditional binders that had been in use for decades. However it now looks like Microsoft has taken a night march on Apple and inked a deal with the league that will call for the Microsoft Surface tablet to be used on all the teams’ sidelines.
While this is still in an area that the league is investigating the Surface tablet would be used an updated tool to provide up to the minute information about looks and formations that other teams are using during games. Players viewing printouts and pictures of formations could be a thing of the past as they instead watch plays on a tablet on the sidelines. Referees will not be left out of the action as it could become the key viewing tool for replays and challenge calls.