NFL And Microsoft Team Up To Make Watching Football Games More Interactive

Microsoft finally unveiled their next console, the Xbox One, and it initially sounds like a pretty stellar piece of machinery, but that’s more Gaming Blend’s expertise. TV Blend is ogling it from afar, intrigued by its promises of live TV with different elements of interactivity exclusive to Xbox.

Announced at the Xbox reveal, Microsoft (opens in new tab) and the NFL have created a partnership worth about $400 million that will change the game for everyone. Those watching on the One - or another Microsoft product that allows you to access Xbox Live – will experience an enhanced version that allows you to split the screen up to gain access to video highlights, to-the-minute stats on all games, Skype access, and it will also connect to mobile devices and tablets via the SmartGlass second screen tech. Perhaps most importantly, you can also use one side of the screen for fantasy football info. And if you think that’s stupid, you obviously don’t play fantasy football, and that’s okay. It’s one more step in Microsoft trying to eliminate whatever middleman is around, but in this case, it actually sounds like progress.

Variety reports the deal will probably also put Microsoft’s name on equipment used on the sidelines, as coaches could be shifting from physical playbooks to Surface tablets, and players would start using mobile devices to study plays, instead of looking at pictures and stadium video. But that’s an argument for another time.

Having already announced the Halo TV series, Microsoft is clearly trying to push themselves to the forefront of non-cable entities. NFL games are ratings juggernauts for the entire season, so this was probably the smartest decision they could have started out with for crossover appeal. The opposite side of that would be the rumors of Heroes possibly coming back as an Xbox series. Not all decisions can be good ones. Who dat!

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.