In early 2016, Apple struck a deal to put the
iPad Pro in dugouts throughout Major League Baseball. Now, Apple wants to put the iPad on ice—no, not like that.
TSN, Canada’s version of ESPN, is reporting that Apple and the National Hockey League are in “late-stage negotiations” to bring the iPad to the league’s 30 teams—31 by 2017.
One aim behind the deal is to equalize the use of technology for each team. An unnamed source told TSN that currently, the more affluent teams have iPads for use in their facilities, while others don’t. The deal is “about having a consistent platform that every team can use in every rink,” the source said.
There’s still a chance the deal can fall apart—as one apparently did with the National Basketball Association. If it does, the sticking point could be money. The NHL wants a minimum of $5 million every year from Apple, TSN reports, for the privilege of having its devices all around the league. Apple, however, is not interested in paying for the privilege of giving out its devices for free.
The story behind the story: Presumably, any potential NHL-Apple deal would be similar to the MLB’s in that each teams’ use of the iPad would be optional. That’s very different from
Microsoft’s deal with the National Football League where the use of the Surface tablet is mandatory. That’s led to some amusing and unforgettable GIFs of players slamming their heads into the tablets, and a memorable GIF of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tossing one of the gadgets in frustration.