Sunday night’s Pro Bowl is essentially an exhibition and an infomercial, but there’s a chance it impacts the NFL beyond the three or so hours of content it provides for ESPN.
The league is using the game to test a new a coach-to-coach communication system and is making video available on the teams’ sideline tablets.
“We want to take the best technologies and test them under as close to real-game experience as possible,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said.
The league tested making video available on teams’ sideline tablets at last year’s Pro Bowl and during the 2015 preseason. Teams currently can use their sideline tablets to view still images that let coaches zoom in, make annotations, review plays and tag plays to review later. The league statement said “logistical and technical adjustments” have been made to the system since last preseason.
The league said if the communication system technology works in the Pro Bowl, the new system could be used as early as next season.