SBD/Closing Bell

Microsoft, NFL Unveil $400M Partnership; Headset Category Not Included

Microsoft and the NFL today unveiled a major partnership, pegged by sources at about $400M over five years. The pact, expanding on a prior relationship between the league and the company, includes sideline rights allowing coaches to use Surface tablets for communications, play calling and photo viewing, as well as a series of category designations including official sideline technology sponsor of the NFL, integration between live NFL games and consumers' fantasy football teams, data processing on player injuries and branding on instant-replay booths. Notably, the deal does not include the league's now-vacant and high-profile headset category.

Microsoft also unveiled Xbox One, its next-generation gaming console. EA Sports participated in the launch event as part of a new strategic partnership between the publisher and Microsoft, and said it will develop upcoming versions of "FIFA," "Madden NFL," "NBA Live" and "UFC" for Xbox One over the next year, including exclusive content in the Ultimate Team mode of "FIFA 14."
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