NHL Presents Mobile-Based Live Game Offerings

National Hockey League fans can now watch their favorite teams on their iPads, iPhones or BlackBerries as part of several mobile applications developed for the league's out-of-market game package.

The league's three NHL GameCenter apps - which range from free options to monthly subscription packages -- allow fans to stream live games, view in-game highlights and access other NHL content on smartphones or tablet computers, including Google Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iTouch and Nokia handsets, as well as the iPad tablet.

Perry Cooper, senior vice president of digital media for the NHL told Multichannel News the league's young, affluent fanbase are poised to take full advantage of its mobile web offerings. NHL fans are more likely to own smartphones than fans of any other major professional sport, according to Scarborough Research.

"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 apps include NHL GameCenter, a free mobile application that provides live scores; live in-game stats for every team and player; a full-season schedule; NHL standings; NHL player profiles; archived results and stats for the current season; searchable content; and an overall personalized experience.

On the premium side, the $19.95 NHL Gamecenter Premium app offers video highlights, condensed games and live game audio in addition to those features found through NHL GameCenter, while the $79.95 NHL GameCenter Live -- available exclusively in the U.S. to Verizon Wireless users via BlackBerry and Android smartphones -- gives subscribers access to live streams of NHL games on their mobile device along with all the content available through NHL GameCenter Premium.

NHL GameCenter Live for iPads is due out later in 2010, said league officials.

The League is also looking to develop its NHL GameCenter apps for devices beyond the iPad such as the Blackberry Playbook and the Samsung Galaxy, which will be available through Verizon Wireless later in the year, according to the league.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.