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Scratching the iPad Itch

New York — Cable programmers
were hoping to hitch a ride
on the inescapable wave of publicity
surrounding Apple’s official
April 3 ship date for the iPad.

Viacom’s MTV Networks debuted
four new apps for the device
— from MTV, Nickelodeon
and VH1 Classic — while Discovery
Communications, Disney/
ABC Television and NBC
Universal’s Th e Weather Channel
debuted apps esigned for
its larger screen. (Cable operators
see the iPad and other Internet
gadgets as boosting their
broadband businesses — see
Platforms)

MTVN’s iPad apps include
“Beavis and Butt-Head” ($4.99)
with mini-games and video
clips from the original MTV series;
Nickelodeon’s “Dora the
Explorer Coloring Adventures”
($4.99) and “Daily Jigsaw” puzzle
game (99 cents); and VH1
Classic’s “Intellivision for iPad”
($2.99) with retro arcade games
like Astrosmash.

“The iPad gives us nearly limitless
opportunities to creatively
connect with consumers of all
ages wherever they are,” Greg
Clayman, MTVN executive vice
president of digital distribution
and business development,
said in announcing the apps.

ABC’s iPad app provides
free-to-consumer, ad-supported
episodes from about 20
popular ABC series, including
Lost and Grey’s Anatomy, over
a Wi-Fi connection. Disney also
is offering a custom iPad version
of Disney.com that focuses
on exclusive video content, including
full episodes of popular
Disney Channel and Disney XD
series Hannah Montana, Wizards
of Waverly Place, Suite Life
on Deck and Phineas & Ferb.

ESPN, for its part, is off ering
two iPads apps: the ESPN Pinball
game and ESPN ScoreCenter
XL, which is similar to the
version for the iPhone and iPod
touchscreen devices but adds
live play-by-play, video highlights,
game summaries and statistics,
box scores and standings.
In addition, ESPN ScoreCenter
XL offers personalized news and
video plus the headlines and
highlights of the day.

Discovery’s MythBusters app,
created in conjunction with developer
Phunware, is similar to
the show’s recently launched app
for the iPhone and iPod touch.
The iPad version features interactive
video, integration with
Twitter and Facebook, and three
games. The full app is available
for purchase for $4.99; each of
the three games are available as
standalone apps for $1.99 each.

The Weather Channel App for
iPad — which is available free,
sponsored by Toyota — provides
forecasts in current, hourly, 15-
minute, 36-hour or 10-day increments;
an index of maps; an
enhanced video center; and severe
weather coverage alerts.

All of the programmers’
apps are available from Apple’s
iTunes App Store on iPad.