---- — BARRY WILNER,
AP Pro Football Writer
Imagine Sean Payton holding up a Surface tablet instead of a cardboard playsheet on the sideline.
Envision Peyton Manning sitting on the bench and dissecting the last series from a variety of camera angles on his hand-held device instead of looking at still photos. Or sitting at home and pulling up real-time highlights on a Sunday afternoon.
The NFL and Microsoft, through its next generation Xbox device, are combining to upgrade interactive TV viewing of pro football games in a multiyear agreement announced Tuesday. The next step after that, perhaps as early as 2014, will be bringing technology to the sidelines on tablets.
The deal is worth $400 million over five years for the NFL, according to a person familiar with the agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because financial details have not been made public.