“Microsoft struck a five-year deal with the NFL to make Surface the official tablet of the league more than four years ago. While the deal was supposed to run for five years, Microsoft is now renewing it for a sixth year,” Tom Warren reports for TechCrunch. “Surface will now continue to be used for video reviews in NFL games until the end of the 2018 / 2019 season.”

“Microsoft’s exclusive NFL deal has never been far from controversy,” Warren reports. “The software giant was forced to ‘coach’ NFL announcers to not call its Surface tablets an iPad, and the company had to defend its tablets after the Patriots stopped using them.”

“Despite this, Microsoft has reportedly spent $400 million on its Surface NFL deal, and it involves a complex range of infrastructure, software, and basic storage cabinets and cases used to protect the tablets,” Warren reports. “Microsoft has also produced its own Surface Type Covers with NFL logos, and the Madden 17 game also uses the tablets.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Without Microsoft paying off the NFL every year, nobody outside of Redmond would have a Surface tablet. Flushing their ill-gotten gains down the shitter, Microsoft is. As usual.

Bill Belichick is not happy.

SEE ALSO:
Microsoft’s defective Surface scandal intensifies – August 15, 2017
Leaked Microsoft memo reveals failure-prone Surface Book suffers from high return rates – August 14, 2017
New England Patriots coach Belichick on Microsoft Surface tablets: ‘They’re just too undependable for me’ – October 19, 2016
New England Patriots’ coach Belichick: Microsoft Surface breakdowns are common – January 26, 2016
Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement; Surface tablets fail during Patriots vs. Broncos playoff game – January 24, 2016
A single quarter of iPad Pro sales will exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold – November 24, 2015
Microsoft pays $400 million for product placement, then NFL announcer calls Surface tablet ‘iPad-like’ on air – September 8, 2014
Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone says his Microsoft Surface tablet ‘didn’t work’ for portion of game – August 4, 2014
How Apple’s iPad is revolutionizing NFL playbooks for players and coaches – July 19, 2012
Miami Dolphins latest to replace huge paper playbooks with Apple iPads – June 24, 2012
Cincinnati Bengals go digital with iPad playbooks, join dozen other NFL teams – June 15, 2012
Denver Broncos NFL team transfers traditional playbooks to Apple iPads – April 23, 2012
NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs give every player an Apple iPad 2 to hold playbook, video – August 25, 2011
NFL teams considering replacing playbooks with Apple iPads – February 4, 2011