If you’re a football fan, Microsoft wants to make an Xbox One integral to your gameday experience. A new version of the NFL app for Xbox One, coming out later this month, is how the company plans to do it. It starts with videos. Lots of videos. The app is centered around NFL Now, the personalized highlight and analysis channel that’s tailored for your favorite teams and your fantasy leagues. Those who upgrade to a premium subscription will be able to stream classic games and other programming like documentaries and shows from the NFL Films “vault.”
More than 40 million Americans play fantasy football. They play it on their computers at work, on their laptops at home, and on their tablets on the couch. And, yes, some even check their teams on their mobile phones while on the toilet. Microsoft gets that. And the maker of the Xbox One wants you to do all of this on your other throne — the living room recliner — while watching the NFL and playing fantasy football on your video game console. For the 2014 season, Microsoft has a slew of new fantasy football and viewing options in store for its NFL Now app. It intends to make the Xbox One a more attractive option for watching highlights, getting updates, and keeping with news on the nation’s most popular sport. This includes live coverage that it says you won’t get anywhere else, fantasy football scoring alerts tailored to your preferences, live NFL Network programming, DirectTV’s premium Sunday Ticket for people who live in areas that can’t get the satellite service, and the cherished NFL Films vault, which contains decades of coverage of what’s become “America’s game.” “People that are big NFL fans, and having the NFL Films library at your fingertips and be able to go through and find the content you want to watch in a single destination, we think it’s going to have a lot of value for fans this year,” said David Jurenka, the executive producer for Xbox Sports in a recent interview at Microsoft’s South of Market lounge in San Francisco.