NHL Launches iPad Site - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

NHL Launches iPad Site

National Hockey league looks to Apple's new tablet to extend its digital reach.

The National Hockey League is bringing hockey scores, stats, news and video to the iPad through a version of its Web site optimized for Apple's new tablet-style computer.

iPad teardown shot, via the FCC.
(Click for larger image and for all 17 iPad teardown photos. )
The move makes the NHL the latest organization to expand its digital footprint through the iPad.

The Wall Street Journal, E-Trade, Rackspace and Marvel Comics are among the hundreds of content producers that have recently launched iPad-specific apps or Web sites.

The NHL said its content is a good fit for the iPad because, according to the league, its tech-savvy fan base has more mobile devices, HD TVs and broadband connections than any other set of sports fans.

"The breakthrough iPad represents a highly relevant distribution opportunity for NHL content," a league spokesperson said, in a statement.

While the iPad is a potentially strong distribution outlet for content publishers, creating apps for the platform isn't, for most, simply a matter of repurposing Web material. That's because most sites use Adobe's Flash for video and graphics—a format the iPad doesn't support.

Still, most believe it's worth the effort.

"Capitalizing on the launch of the iPad represents another opportunity for the NHL to shorten the distance between its content and fans to develop a more deeply engaged audience," said the NHL's spokesperson.

The iPad went on sale Saturday.

Pricing for the Wi-Fi only version, which features 802.11 connectivity, starts at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, and $699 for the 64GB version.

The Wi-Fi + 3G versions, available later in April, are priced somewhat higher. The 16GB model is $629, the 32GB model is $729, and the 64GB version is $829.

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