Reason Behind Microsoft Surface Tablet Fail at NFL Game

PHOTO: Chandler Jones of the New England Patriots holds a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sideline in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Jan. 24, 2016 in Denver, Colo.PlayChristian Petersen/Getty Images
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There wasn't much going on beneath the surface of the New England Patriots' tablets after a connectivity issue rendered them useless during part of their game on Sunday.

Microsoft has a partnership with the NFL, making the company's Surface Pro devices the official tablets of the league. Beginning in 2013, the partnership cost Microsoft a reported $400 million, but it's hardly been a marketing touchdown for the company.

The tablets, which are used to review plays and make calls during the game, have been referred to as iPads by commentators. An upset Aaron Rodgers famously slammed the tablet on the sidelines last November after throwing a costly interception.

Word that the New England Patriots were having issues with their tablets spread during the second quarter of the AFC championship game, with even the game's commentators describing the frustration on the sidelines as the coaching staff and players were unable to connect their tablets.

The Denver Broncos -- the eventual winners -- didn't experience any problems with their Surface tablets and were able to continue using them even while their opponents were suffering a technology meltdown.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. While the costly fail may look like a black eye for Microsoft, the company told The Guardian 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," Microsoft said in the statement.

Even if it wasn't related to the hardware, the high profile tech snafu resulted in Microsoft taking a few jabs on Twitter.

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