NFL fans can soon trade in their remote controls for joysticks. A new partnership between the NFL and Microsoft will make it possible to stream live NFL games through their Xbox One video game console.
NFL.com reports that the league’s new deal with Microsoft will cover five years and is worth $400 million to the league. A Microsoft partnership offers many innovations that promise to turn weekly NFL games into a fully interactive experience for fans, coaches and players alike.
Football Goes Fully Interactive
Under the new deal with Microsoft, fans will be able to participate in video chats with other fans, get injury updates and browse through real-time statistics and highlights. NFL fans who participate in fantasy football leagues will savor the Xbox One setup as well; they will have all pertinent fantasy football stats for one league or multiple leagues right at their fingertips.
All of this information can be viewed on a single screen through the Xbox One. Fans can also choose to use multiple screens, if their mobile device or tablet is equipped with SmartGlass technology. Even with an Xbox One console, fans will still need to sign up for a streaming package from retailers like www.directstartv.com to see their favorite NFL teams live each week.
The innovations under this deal between Microsoft and the NFL will also affect what coaches, players and officials do on the sidelines. Digital Trends reports Microsoft Surface Tablets will be phased in for sideline use as early as 2014. Coaches and coordinators will use these tablets to call plays, make substitutions and adjust their offensive or defensive tactics. Quarterbacks will use tablets to review photos and video footage of previous plays to facilitate adjustments between drives.
A Winning Deal
This deal with the NFL should help Microsoft regain the footing it lost after yielding the top spot to Sony in the gaming console market. Yahoo Finance reported Sony’s PS3 console outsold the Xbox 360 in March, selling 1.8 million units compared to 1.2 million for Microsoft. Fighting a similar slump in the PC market as more and more people switch to tablets has made the deal with the NFL critical to Microsoft’s efforts to ensure future growth.
Microsoft is a big winner in this new five-year deal with the NFL. It will give the brand wider exposure among NFL audiences and could boost Xbox sales. Xbox has already shown it is for more than just video games, with movie and TV streaming already available through the console. This will be another way to reach out to customers who are not necessarily gamers.
Partnering with the NFL will help Microsoft foster a reputation for creating cutting edge technologies. It could mean a similar public image boost Apple enjoyed as it developed MacBooks and iPods more than a decade ago. Those products helped Apple to rise from the ashes and become an industry leader.
The NFL also comes out as a winner in this deal. It shows the league is embracing innovative technologies to enhance professional football. NFL coaches and players will enjoy access to tablets that will make play calling and game management much easier. Fans will enjoy getting a virtual all-access pass to their favorite games.
[author ]Holly is a mobile gaming specialist and mom of three from the West Coast.[/author]