AP To Expand Top 25 Poll with College Football Microsite

The Associated Press has revealed plans to create a destination microsite for its AP Top 25 college football poll. The new platform will serve as a primary hub for AP’s college football content and will be anchored by AP Top 25 Poll. Although the project is still in its early stages, content is expected to include AP stories, statistics, photos, video, social networking features, and curated content from college football reporters and editors at AP member news organizations. The move is part of an expanded range of digital initiatives announced by AP President and CEO Tom Curley at AP’s annual meeting on Thursday.

“We are working on an AP Top 25 offering that will pull together a network of members interested in creating a range of collegiate football products for the Web, mobile, and the tablets,” Curley said in a statement. “The arrival of smart phones and tablets, including devices like the iPad, ushers in a new era for consumers. News consumers should be able to get the content they want when they want it and even where they want it. And we, as news producers, have a second chance to innovate.”

The new platform will build upon AP’s Winter Games platform, which launched earlier this year during the 2010 Vancouver Games.  It also marks the second product developed by AP Gateway, the newly founded launch pad for new services from AP and other interested news publishers. AP Gateway, which launched in February, first delivered the AP news application for the Apple iPad earlier this month.

“We think there are a number of vertical content areas, like football, where the combined strength of AP and its members could be unmatched,” says Curley. “This will be prime territory for future Gateway projects. Beyond that, we expect to offer our content partners a variety of ways to take their content to market, both individually and collectively, taking advantage of new business models, including the wide variety of pay models now under development.”

The new platform is expected to be unveiled in time for the start of the 2010 college football season.

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