Microsoft’s NFL partnership hasn’t gone exactly as the company had hoped.
A snafu during Sunday’s AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos certainly didn’t seem to help matters, either.
Despite spending significant time the past few seasons reminding broadcasters that teams use Microsoft Surface Pro tablets on the sidelines and not iPads,
the organization has struggled to gain traction with fans.
The most visibility the Surface Pro got this season came from this Johnny Manziel lowlight:
During the AFC championship, several of the Patriots’ tablets were rendered unusable for several crucial minutes. In light of this, Microsoft may want to
rethink its reported $400 million partnership.
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"They're having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets," CBS sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported during the broadcast. "On the last
defensive possession the Patriots coaches did not have access to those tablets to show pictures to their players. NFL officials have been working at it.
Some of those tablets are back in use, but not all of them."
A Microsoft spokesman blamed the glitch on a connectivity problem, and issued the following statement:
Our team on the field has confirmed the issue was not related to the tablets themselves but rather an issue with the network. We worked with our partners
who manage the network to ensure the issue was resolved quickly.
However, the damage was already done, and social media users had a field day with it:
It’s unlikely that a statement from Microsoft is powerful enough to combat the current perception of the Surface Pro’s among NFL fans.
It might be time for Microsoft to cut the cord on the deal, or at least craft content that highlights some of the NFL’s successes with the