Surface Pro 2 to catch NFL games from the sidelines

Surface Pro 2 to catch NFL games from the sidelines

The NFL will be employing modified Surface tablets on the sidelines of games beginning this season. As part of an existing deal with Microsoft, the NFL will deploy Surface Pro 2 tablets beginning with the Hall of Fame game today. The tablets, modified externally with a thick blue case, will be used to review plays instantly. Each sideline will have a temperature-controlled cart of Surface tablets, which will remain locked up at the stadium when not in use during games. Additionally, the tablets will be locked down to prevent cheating, according to Engadget:

Moreover, Microsoft says the Surface Pro 2s are owned by the NFL and not the teams, telling us that the tablets were heavily modified inside and out. Sure, these devices are capable of handling water, snow and extreme heat temperatures, but here's one thing they can't handle: third-party apps. In other words, don't expect Johnny Football to be Instagramming while he's warming up on the bench. Along those same lines, the Surface tablets on the field operate under a private network created by the NFL, which is how the league plans to keep the sensitive photo-viewing app closed off and away from any potential intruders.

What do you think of the NFL using Surface tablets during games? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Engadget, Bloomberg


Reader comments

Surface Pro 2 to catch NFL games from the sidelines


There are a couple stadiums up for bid, sponsorship wise. They should jump on one. I am game for anything MS and football. Looking forward to the updated Xbox app too.

That's a very good point. Anyone seeing these on the side lines will then have issues going to MS store and getting one. What happened to the old 'Win Sunday, Buy Monday' type thought?

It's the surface line. It doesn't matter that they are 2's. I just heard this on the news. They simpley said "Microsoft Surface". So what's your point?

Silly marketing idea. Won't look anything like a Surface. And won't run anything a Surface can run. People will not be able to relate. I suggest Microsoft sticks to commercials and real product placements.

It's not marketing but this deal could be used in future marketing. In other words, nobody is even going to know the NFL is using surface tablets until Microsoft mentions it in some future commercial.

Kind of like how Duracell mentions NASA or the coast guard in their commercials.

I see what you're saying, but me and millions of people saw the NFL use them last season on the NFL pre-game shows that came on every week. And they mentioned the tablets that they were using, so if that's not marketing then I don't know what it is.

Are you kidding me? 400 million in the packet and MS branding all over the place. This a win win for MS for every single place you look at it.

My thoughts too, but they probably got the pro 2 on the cheap. I wonder why they just didn't use the rt 2 with it being so blocked down to save a few more pennies. Maybe cause it would need more coding? I dunno.

Speed ands x86 functionality would be my guess. The RT flavor is fine for basic and light tasks. But I wouldn't trust it in this situation

The deal was made in 2013. The tablets had to be specially made for them. So, the pro 2 was what they paid for.

Liquidation. They probably dumped tons of them to the NFL for like $400 each...Nobody is really buying them anymore with the SP3...got to get rid of them somehow.

Is nobody gettin this?! they were supposed to launch the mini in may. they decided that wasnt the best course of action and then had to come up with a product asap. sp3 should've come with broadwell but they obviously didnt have that ready so they pushed out the sp3 with haswell in a nice body so people were still interested in something. hyello?!



my guess is timing. Takes time to develop custom software, networks, training and the SP3 would not have been ready in time.

I live just 10 minutes from the hall of fame. Interesting and if I walked up there I'd be on the lookout for them.

Anyone see the Gizmodo article about this where they said the surface pro 2 is tech that lags behind the latest iPad? I laughed.

Wrong. This deal was put together when the SP3 didn't exist. They put this together when the SP2 was top dog. All that custom software, etc doesn't happen as a weekend project.

I can see it happening. Belichick in his hoodie, with the cut-off sleeves, wearing his usual emotionless scowl, sitting in front of a computer trying to hack into a Surface holding the Jets' playbook.

It means they're policies in place on the OS to prevent installation of applications other than what the NFL wants and to prevent tampering of the systems files. The NFL doesn't want Anyone spying on what the teams (coaches) are doing with them. Think playbooks and communication.

"Upon further review..." Surface tabs will Only be providing instant playback that allows players to draw on the videos and images John Madden style. I stand corrected. Beside myself ; )

Honestly sounds like the Surface 2, or any other tablet for that matter, could've achieved this just as easily.

Don't get me wrong: This is cool and I'm glad Microsoft is getting their brand out there, but this also sounds a bit disappointing since pretty much any tablet could've done this. What an expensive waste of the Surface's potential.

Why are you disappointed? It just doesn't make sense. It's like you're emotionally invested in the Suface as if it were your child not living up to their potential. Are you hiding something from us? Did you father the Surface?

Time for me to send the NBA's mobile department another scathing email for dropping their WP app. I can use this as ammo. Threaten to organize all Windows ecosystem users into abandoning the NBA.


Write whatever email you feel is appropriate, but don't threaten them. It hurts the case you're trying to make and also makes you look bad. Just my advice.

Now this is some great marketing! I can't wait to read some articles related to Surface sales increasing as the NFL season goes on.

Fox sports used them the last two seasons Terry, Howie, Micheal and those boys. I'm surprised they didn't get noticed in this forum.