After making the mistake of repeatedly referring to the Microsoft Surface as an iPad, announcers finally got the right name for the NFL’s sponsor tablet… only for this to be the occasion on which the device stopped working on live TV.
The incident took place during Sunday’s AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, resulting in the kind of negative publicity Microsoft surely never dreamed its $400 million sponsorship would lead to.
“They’re having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface tablets,” CBS’ sideline reporter Evan Washburn said during the game. “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 lot of frustration that they didn’t have them on that last possession.”
Microsoft quickly sprung into action to blame the breakdown on a network connectivity issue rather than, well, you know.
“Our team on the field has confirmed the issue was not related to the tablets themselves but rather an issue with the network,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We worked with our partners who manage the network to ensure the issue was resolved quickly.”
Whatever happens with Apple’s reported iPad sales figures this week, at least their devices didn’t just get lambasted on television in front of one of their main target demographics.