(Image courtesy of sbnation.com)
Granted the sporting world may be focused on the start of the upcoming World Series, or an NFL season that's in full swing, but the NHL season is also underway. With that, iPad puck fans can look forward in the near future to being able to watch live games on their devices. The NHL had also been one of the first pro sports leagues to optimize their site for the iPad.
Perry Cooper, senior VP of digital media for the NHL spoke with Multichannel News saying that the league's young, affluent fanbase are poised to take full advantage of its mobile web offerings. According to Scarborough Research, NHL fans are more likely to own smartphones than fans of any other major professional sport.
"It really serves every aspect and segment of our fan and it allows us the opportunity to upgrade and matriculate people to a more robust experience," Cooper said.
The league currently maintains three NHL GameCenter apps - which can vary anywhere from free options to subscriptions - and can allow fans the chance to stream live games, view in-game highlights and get access to other NHL content on devices like the BlackBerry, iPhone/iPod touch and Nokia handsets, and the iPad.
The free portion provides live scores; live in-game stats for each team and player; a full-season schedule; standings, player profiles, archived results and stats for the current season, searchable content and a personalized experience.
If you're thirsting for something a bit more, NHL GameCenter Premium is available on the iPad for $19.95, which offers up video highlights, condensed games and live game audio in addition to everything found in the free edition. Unfortunately, NHL GameCenter Live is only available in the U.S. for Verizon Wireless users, due to contractual obligations that the league has. That version allows users to stream live video of games. Perhaps iPhone users won't be out in the cold if we ever see that Verizon version, hmmm?
But just the same, according to league officials, GameCenter Live is going to be due out later this year for the iPad! Presumably it will come at a cost, but if you live out of the state of your favorite team, it could certainly be worth it!
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