The NFL can’t stop calling Microsoft Surface an iPad


Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines with an 'iPad.'
Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines with an 'iPad.'
Photo: NBC

Microsoft is paying $400 million this season to make the Surface the official tablet of the NFL but the league’s announcers still can’t stop calling it an iPad.

The 2015 NFL season officially kicked off last night with the first game between the Steelers and the Patriots. After NBC returned from a commercial break, the network showed a shot of Belichick working with one of the many Microsoft Surface tablets that are provided on the sideline, only instead of talking up the league’s Microsoft partnership, announcer Al Michaels commented how Belichick was ‘on his iPad.”

Watch the clip below:

Unfortunately for Microsoft, this is not the first time the NFL has totally forgotten the name of the iPad. Last season the announcers referred to Surface as an ‘iPad-like tablet,’ while Bear’s quarterback Jay Cutler called them ‘knockoff iPads.’

  • Your missing a crucial element of your article… it’s not the NFL calling the Surfaces “iPads”, it’s the networks. Commentators aren’t paid by the NFL, they’re paid by the network they’re on. Therefore, the NFL probably doesn’t have much control over how the commentators refer the iPad knockoffs.

    • Rafterman00

      Don’t worry, NBC will almost certainly and politely let Al Michaels know of his error. Just right after the NFL lets NBC know the same thing.

      • Stephen Brock

        I would hope that they do not POLITELY talk to AL. The NFL should be stern, and then the network should be stern.

        I’m thinking the flow would be Microsoft has a tizzy that they provide $400M in product and then the NFL allows the networks to promote their competitor’s product. Shameful.

    • simosim

      You’re. Apologies

    • Mathew diekhake

      Commentators aren’t paid by the NFL? The network has a contract with the NFL. That contract would include the basis such as don’t call our Surface tablets iPads.

      • Stephen Brock

        Agreed. Those networks know that the NFL contract is worth hundreds of millions. And I think that Microsoft should note the $$ figure to the NFL, and the NFL should definitely make a note to the networks.

        In truth, Microsoft would have every right to ask for return of the product or for a refund of certain $$ amount. When you agree to be a sponsor, then there is an assumption – at minimum – that your product and not your competitor’s product is promoted.

  • Haunibal

    I read an article few years ago about how if samsung does not get a good grip on the tablet market the consumers will forever refer to every tablet as ipad, I believe this writers prophecies came true, every tablet is now known as the ipad.

    • WPKing

      Only by idiots that are followers and have no idea about technology. The surface just smokes the iPad in every way except for app count. Plain and simple the iPad is mostly for kids play.

  • Mathew diekhake

    The old guy…yeah, we all know it’s rare for someone that age to take 5 minutes out of their deminishing lives to learn anything tech related.

  • WPKing

    Well only by the technological idiots and iPad is a horrible name for a computing device in the first place. But you suckers just love it to death!

  • The Gnome

    You can pay all you want to get your product exposure, but you can’t buy being the go-to device in tablets. So sad, Microsoft… so sad.

    • Stephen Brock

      You might not be able to buy being the go to device, but if you’re providing $400M in product, then you assume that they will mention YOUR PRODUCT.

  • lucascott

    The NFL has a deal to only use Surface so there is no reason to be neutral.

    And Apple is probably nagging them about using iPad as a generic term, and so likely is Microsoft, just for different reasons