NBA Puts Users ‘Courtside’ With iPad App

The National Basketball Association has pulled back the curtain on its iPad application. Designed to be used while watching playoff games, the "NBA Game Time: Courtside" app will give users access to stats and details typically reserved for the courtside announcers. Rather than turning the iPad into a media viewing device, the app is meant to be used primarily while watching the upcoming NBA playoffs on a TV set, providing statistical overlays and information about the game.

"We really think this device will function quite differently than a mobile device," says Bryan Perez, senior VP and GM of NBA Digital. "We imagine that fans will most likely have their devices on their desk or on the side table in the living room, making it a great opportunity to crate a companion experience."

Users can see which players are on the court through a graphical interface, and touch one of them to see when and where they have scored. It also features a news and stats ticker, Twitter integration and video highlights as they are uploaded to

"The tactile interactivity, the form factor, the adjacency that we believe it will have in the home makes this a perfect opportunity to create that [engaging] experience," Perez says.

The application will be free for the 2010 playoffs, though Perez says it will likely become paid for the 2010-2011 season. Of course, the next iteration of the app will have additional bells and whistles, including some features found in the mobile apps, and other ideas in development such as alternate camera angles.