Microsoft and the NFL get together to bring you the ultimate football experience

Microsoft has been wrapped up in sports deals for the last few days and yesterday’s partnership with the National Football League, was yet another welcome addition. The NFL and Microsoft plan to upgrade interactive TV viewing for football fans through the company’s latest entertainment console, Xbox One. The $400 million deal was announced Tuesday and will be set into effect as early as Q1 2014.

Brian Rolapp, chief operating officer of NFL Media, stated that "the challenge is how to bring technology to make it [football] a better experience…"

Football fans will be able to Skype video chat with others, view game statistics, access highlights in real time, and easily manage their fantasy league all on their TV. If you prefer to keep your big screen reserved for the game, you can grab your tablet or smartphone and use Microsoft’s SmartGlass technology to follow along.

Xbox One places an extreme focus on TV integration, and Microsoft wants to absorb the large majority of viewers that are sports fans. According to Don Mattrick, president of the IEB Division at Microsoft, “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.”

The deal between the two giants will last five years, meaning that as technology of the Xbox One improves, we can expect to see added experiences in the future. In addition, due to the short five year agreement, the NFL can decided whether Microsoft’s idea is best or if it might be more beneficial to partner with the networks themselves.

It doesn’t take a savant to predict that the world of sports will be seeing a technology assisted future as we move forward. The goal, get fans closer to the action while allowing them to interact with others online.

Are you a huge sports fan – what do you think about the idea of “Sports 2.0” with Xbox One?

Source: NFL (opens in new tab)

Michael Archambault
  • Not really a football fan but this feature is pretty cool though
  • Ill be interested when they do this for Formula 1
  • I would prefer to see a proper WP/W8 F1 app first!
  • Lets bug Bernie Ecclestone and make that happen :)
  • I don't think it'll happen because of Sky but hopefully it does. PS. WP needs a proper F1 tracker! I need one especially since I'll be in Montreal in a couple of weeks.
  • I just sold my Montreal tickets. it’s the day of my wedding and my Fiancée has no faith that I can make it back in time for the wedding that night :)
  • I have wanted to go to the Canadian GP for awhile. I am thinking next year or the year after when a buddy returns from Fort Mac. Being from London, Montreal is pretty far..
  • Sounds dope! I wonder if they will do something like NFL Sunday ticket and stream live games from other markets. If so, thats golden and I will leave cable behind forever if its cheaper or even included on the Xbox live subscription fee.
  • I doubt they'll screw over DirecTV. This is just add ons to watch the game I'm sure.
  • I'm basically waitng for them announce they have a deal similar to what Sony has with NFL Sunday Ticket. Otherwise a lot of people will be extremely disappointed.
  • Can't wait.
  • I'm a huge NFL fan but, live in the uk. This does sound cool. A few questions, will it (whatever they do) exist in the UK? Will they have game pass on the xbox now? (again in the uk.) if not will I be able to attach/stream/integrate my windows 8 laptop to the awesome looking interface of xbox one and there for my gamepass.
  • Ive been wondering the same thing since i saw it advertised. NFL game pass is great and it would be a shame to not be able to tap in to what MS is offering purely becasue we live outside the US.
  • Yup yup Xblock one here I come
  • Lmao. That was hilarious but true. Still had the original xbox so i don't mind the size of the X1.
  • Love the one liner but do you guys really hate the size of it? .. I cant even say I care .. my Receiver is still twice the size of the 360 ..
  • Um, is this a Windows Phone article, or an xbox article? I like reading this site for WP news, not for the xbox or other non-WP Microsoft news.
  • Oh please.
  • Well, considering that Xbox SmartGlass runs on WIndows Phone, it is at least partially relevant. 
  • The way people like you feel entitled just baffles me. If you follow this site at all, you would have known that Michael covers general Microsoft news that are not necessarily Windows Phone related. If you don't like it please move along to other WP related news, you don't have to read every article on this site not even the WP related ones. For the rest of us, we enjoy reading other Microsoft endeavors.
  • I'm not feeling entitled... just confused.  Isn't this "Windows Phone Central?" I mean it's not "All Things Microsoft Central." I like how the site divides itself into Android Central, BlackBerry Central, iOS Central, etc., so readers can focus on what they want to read.  Maybe if there is enough interest in the xbox, the site designers could create an Xbox Central section so as not to dilute the coverage of WP.
    I've got nothing against the articles' good intentions, except that they seem out of place and dilute the focus of the site.
    On a similar note, I question Microsoft's bluring of the branding of Xbox and WP.  I gave my wife a Windows Phone recently, which she likes.  She was confused, however, by the use of the term "Xbox" for the music app. "I'm not a high-school boy" was her comment.  (I don't mean to offend xboxers... and I know a lot of them are older.)  It would seem to me that if MS wants to move business-oriented adults over to WP, positioning the OS as a productivity tool would be better than positioning it as an xbox conduit.  The "Nokia Music" app's title makes a lot more sense as a music player -- at least judging by its product name.  Even though I have twiddled my thumbs a bit on my sons' xbox, I too am put off by the idea that a WP is an xbox-related device. The connection seems to suggest that the WP is a teenager's phone, not a business phone. With all the integration with Office and Skydrive, MS could make a strong case for the deep-pocketed business user.
    By all means have the xbox-connecting apps available.  But MS shouldn't use the xbox as a key branding element within WP, or they'll lose the appeal of potential non-gamer adopters before those adopters give the OS a chance.
  • You dont have to be confused anymore. They have said that they will cover _some_ news on Win8 and Surface and devices like that, and obviously the new Xbox. So yeah, now you know.
  • MS has said that Xbox will be known as their entertainment division, not just games. Xbox Music fits as part of entertainment. Yesterday's reveal of Xbox One's entertainment features is another indication of where they're trying to go with their Xbox = entertainment branding.
  • MS technoligies are going to start colliding so they are keeping us updated on all fronts.  Hopefully, the success of partnerships like this can bring some additional content / features to WP as well
  • Just skip the articles you don't like. I for one only got a windows phone for its Xbox live connection. So any Xbox news is icing on the cake for me.
  • @trinkner We actually wrote about Michael writing Microsoft news for our site on Monday and even mentioned how we will be soon implementing a filter so that you can just get Windows Phone news. If you had read that article (From the Editor's Desk), none of this would be a surprise. You are currently free to skim over any article/topic that is of no interest to you ;)  We're only doing this because our readers have expressed a desire for more MS/Xbox/Windows 8 news.
  • Perhaps renaming this to Windows Central or MicroCentral would help lol
  • Super! Sorry -- I missed that article.
  • Hi Trinkner, I'll be covering all Microsoft news that isn't WP related. That includes Xbox, Microsoft Surface, and much more. Don't worry though, if you don't like the idea of "other" news mixing with your WP content you will be able to filter it out. Here is what Daniel posted in his last "From the Editor's desk" article: "So what does this mean for the site? Well, no worries if you just don’t care for Microsoft or Windows 8 news (though you will be taken down a peg) as we’ll be instituting a “filter” of sorts on the front page so that you can have only Windows Phone news show, Microsoft news or both." We want to make sure you continue to enjoy your experience here at WPC! :)
  • Excellent!  Thanks for the update! 
  • Yeesh, that's just way to polite for a reponse to a comment.   Flip him off then flip a table over or something. 
    (of course I'm kidding, just the NY in me, carry on.)
  • I enjoy all the non-WP news on here. In fact I just us WPCentral and Supersite for Windows to get all my Microsoft news.
  • There was an article about this the other day (yesterday maybe). But the site is soon going to be updated with a filter that lets you block out articles you don't want to see. Until the, you will have to put up with the other related articles. I know it probably sucks for you, but I appreciate the news.
    The decision was made to include (somewhat) related news since many people on this site (like myself) are interested.
  • I happen to really appreciate the surface news I find here.
  • Did you forget you're not forced to read every article?
  • It did bother to mention WP integration with smartglass, so there is relevance here...
  • everything going to be connected to each other
  • Want!
  • Eh, no Sunday Ticket. Sounds like some neat stuff but nothing that great to be honest.
  • I bet MS will not be the exclusive provider after the deal is done again. This feature with NFL Sunday ticket is killer. It would make more sense for DirecTV to sign the new deal.
  • True. And this is cool but without an addition if the NFL Ticket, its mot all that great. You're right, I think this will move to whomever has the tv package deal after this contract is up. It would make more sense
  • If you're right plus 1. The PS3 Had Sunday Ticket for the last 2 years. Hopefully Direct TV and the NFL has a deal to watch all games on your Xbox. Oh yeah it'll cost ya. It was $299 a year on the PS3.
  • Were there local market blackout restrictions? I know that I can't watch cubs games on the app. Is Sunday ticket the same way?
  • Streaming NFL ticket on my PS3 was one the worst experience ever. Constant buffering and bad picture quality. It was just like watching from that illegal site that everyone watches sports games from, but without all the pop ups.
  • I'm really excited for the Xbox One but slightly concerned MS are focusing on the US only. The TV functionality wont be available in the UK at launch. I don't follow NFL but understandably millions do, probably not a huge amount of people in the UK do. Happy to be corrected but looks like a great deal for Xbox/NFL fans
  • NFL is the 6th most popular sport in the UK...
  • Well I stand corrected! ;-)
  • Looking forward to it
  • The real question is when will Microsoft/XBOX announce their cable serices?  I am sure that it is in the works.  I would love to pay Microsoft instead of a cable provider because Microsoft will provide a better experience.
  • Q1 2014? Just in time to miss the football season...
  • 400 million dollar deal?  Ok, I'm very confused.  Its just fantasy scores snapped to the right hand side.  I mean its not like they are streaming NFL Pass directly to Xbox without requiring an existing cable service, right?
  • It also includes stadium upgrades like if u bring ur surface to a game, and its advertising as well NFL is not cheap
  • I am ready for some football!!! (no,not soccer)
  • I am so hoping this deal will give me the ability to subscribe to Sunday Ticket on Xbox One, since I can't get Direct Tv where I live.
  • That would be killer.
  • I would pay extra for that. I don't want cable or satellite but I do want to watch my Bears!
  • Q1 2014?? .... [grumpy cat]
    Still, there are a few games and playoffs left over IF they do it early Q1.
  • Well said!
  • I hope that somewhere in this collaboration we can get an official NFL fantasy football app for Windows Phone. Way overdue.
  • LOL no doubt!
  • I love the NFL, but as a season ticket holder I am only home for 8 out of the 16 weeks of regular season. Regardless if you can DVR, replay games, that would be most excellent. Curious how this will work with existing cable and services.
  • Unless I can get NFL SundayTicket/GamePass for my favorite team. BLAH.
  • The NFL is like my life during the season so I'm loving this partnership
  • Yawn
  • Why even bother commenting?
  • Cause i can my opinion shhhh lol
  • I saw the presentation. Skype on your tv while the game is on and fantasy football ,,all three on the screen at the same time. Folks you are going to love it!  I hope they make a soccer deal in we are talking a billion fans or hulligans.
  • WP needs a decent NFL app first in my opinion, ... Along with a decent NHL app and Football (Soccer) app
  • Agreed. ESPN is great but I miss Football Live from webOS. Best app I've used on any platform. Unfortunately, live tiles would need to be able to be updated more often for the best features of that app to work.
  • ultimate all in one experience games,
  • From the reports I've heard the deal also says that coaches are going to use surfaces on the sidelines rather than their laminated sheets for play calling. There is also going to be Microsoft product placement when the refs go to the cameras for play reviews.
  • Bring on the NFL season and let the games begin. Former fantasy league champion speaking and we approve this Sounds like a winner.
  • Start of something great.... Especially as cross platform integration becomes the norm for MS products
  • Sounds amazing! Only issue - I'm from Australia so I don't watch NFL. Wish they would do it with AFL here that would be amazing!
  • The goal should be for Xbox to broadcast games without any of those pesky networks! U don't want cable but I gotta watch my Bears! Wish I lived closer to a tower so I could pick up ota signals. Ps MS I would pay extra for a NFL season pass/ redzone sort situation.
  • Love It! Big Fan of the NFL.. And the Xbox, surface, Xbox games etc, so I do like to hear about it all. WP Central does such a great job covering WP's ecosystem I don't see how it hurts.. Now with the Xbox integrating gaming, tv, communication, and internet with WP as an integral piece I think its important to keep up with it when its relevant. Keep up the good work WP Central... :)
  • Indeed
  • Hope they make an app for the current xbox too... probably would be with out the live tv features.. Would be great to have highlights or something though!
  • The 49ers need to integrate Xbox Smart Glass and this program into their supposedly technologically advanced new Santa Clara stadium. This is the type of interactive experience that the Yorks were talking about when they envisioned the new stadium.