Apple and NHL Close to Striking 'Major Partnership' to Bring iPads to Team Benches

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Apple is in late-stage discussions with the National Hockey League regarding a "major partnership" that could see iPads and other technologies implemented on team benches and elsewhere in arenas, according to Canadian sports network TSN.

The report claims the NHL has been in negotiations with Apple and Microsoft for several years, adding that talks with Apple have accelerated recently after similar talks between Apple and the National Basketball Association failed to materialize.

“The NHL Apple deal is more a major partnership than a sponsorship,” said a source familiar with the NHL’s plans. “Right now, some teams have iPads or other tablets and some don’t. Some have good Internet connections, some don’t. This deal is about having a consistent platform that every team can use in every rink.”

Major League Baseball's digital operation BAMTech has been involved in the negotiations, after reaching a six-year deal with the NHL last year for the rights to distribute live out-of-market games, according to the report.

BAMTech's parent division MLB Advanced Media also owns the rights to the NHL's website, mobile apps, operations, and distribution of the league's streaming platform NHL GameCenter Live, available on iPad and other Apple devices.

The deal could resemble a $400 million partnership between the National Football League and Microsoft, ongoing since 2013, which provides team coaches with Surface tablets to use on the sidelines during football games.

The Walt Disney Company acquired a minority 33% stake in BAMTech earlier this year.

Tag: NHL

Top Rated Comments

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51 months ago

Minnesotan is the first to comment on the hockey story! :D

Our team needs to use iPads to Google how to score goals.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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51 months ago

Our team needs to use iPads to Google how to score goals.

Our team has needed iPads since 1967.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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51 months ago

Smart. A lot of NHL teams are already using iPads on the bench.

Minnesotan is the first to comment on the hockey story! :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
51 months ago

Can someone explain why there needs to be some "deal" or "partnership" between Apple and the NHL? I mean, the NHL makes so much freaking money as do the teams, and they can't afford to buy each team a few iPads?

Is the NHL asking for free iPads or what? Maybe some of the underperforming players can take some of their Million dollar salaries and buy a few iPads for the team?

It's what's known as a cooperative marketing effort.
It benefits the NHL and Apple.
The NHL get a few thousand iPads and association with Apple's halo
and Apple gets to target a sports demographic that taps
a potential customer base that they haven't reached before.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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51 months ago
Don't think an iPad would have helped Claude Lemieux.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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51 months ago

So how long will it be until we see some fed up coach throwing it against the wall in disgust like Belichick & his surface?

$20 says it'll be Torts chucking it across the ice like a frisbee
[doublepost=1481155736][/doublepost]

A waste of money....the viewership is low and just how many people watching a game are going to say,"Gee I need to get an iPad because they're using one?" Just look at Microsoft's Surface product placement all over NFL games. NFL is the most watched sport and they still can't move a fraction of the numbers that the iPad is.

Apple isn't doing it for the marketing, and the League isn't doing it to increase viewership. They're doing it to make them available for the teams to use during gameplay.

Airlines all across the country use them as electronic flight bags for the pilots; that doesn't mean that each pilot is hoping you see him use it to try and advertise iPads.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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