Four years ago, Microsoft struck a five-year deal with the NFL to make Surface the leagues official tablet. The deal was supposed to be for five years, but the company is now renewing the deal for a sixth deal. Now, the Surface tablet will be used for video reviews in the NFL games for an additional year, basically until the end of 2018/2019 season.
In a statement to SportsPro, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate Vice President, said that “We’re excited to help the NFL change the game with Surface devices being used by players and coaches on the sidelines to make more informed decisions, referees using Surface for instant replay to enhance the speed of the game, and teams using Microsoft products in their business and football operations.” In addition, he said that “we look forward to continuing the partnership next season.”
This NFL deal has received a lot of controversy over the years. Microsoft was forced to “coach” NFL announcers to not call the Surface tablets an iPad. In addition, the company defended its tablet after the Patriots stopped using them. Reportedly, Microsoft has spend $400 million on this Surface deal with the NFL.