Fans of the UFV Cascades, Trinity Western Spartans and other CIS basketball and volleyball teams will be able to watch their schools in action live on their computer this year.
The Canada West Universities Athletic Association announced on Wednesday a partnership with Stretch Internet to launch CanadaWest.TV, the official home of web-based broadcasting for all 14 Canada West member institutions during the 2011-12 season and beyond.
The first network of its kind in Canada, CanadaWest.TV will be the exclusive live home of all Canada West basketball and volleyball games along with selected games in other sports including football, hockey, and soccer.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Stretch Internet and launch this online network, which will greatly enhance the experience of our fans who want to catch live Canada West action for those who cannot make it to the game,” said Ben Matchett, Canada West vice-president of marketing.
“It provides us with a unique opportunity as a conference and as individual schools to have our product seen by fans across Western Canada and around the world, and our new mobile platform means they will not miss a minute of the action no matter where they go.”
Live video for all streamed games will be available online as well as on all Flash 10.1-enabled mobile devices and, for the first time in Canadian university sport, on all iPhone OS devices – including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
“I cannot emphasize enough how thrilled we are to partner with Canada West,” said Stretch Internet president Ryan Ermeling. “Our platform is perfectly suited to the needs of the conference and its 14 member institutions.
“Fans will enjoy an incredibly user-rich experience, with high-quality live and on-demand video along with integrated live stats and other features – on both desktop and mobile platforms,” he added. “Since our very first discussions in Calgary, it has been evident to us that quality and professionalism are of the utmost importance to the conference, and we are confident we will deliver on both fronts.”
In addition to live coverage of Canada West events, CanadaWest.TV also includes a live scoreboard and statistics in the same window – truly creating a one-stop platform to follow university sport in Western Canada. All broadcasts will be archived and available on demand immediately following the conclusion of the broadcast, and select games will feature live blog and chat capabilities.
The first Canada West game streamed will feature the Regina Rams as they open the football campaign against the UBC Thunderbirds at Mosaic Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2.
Basketball season begins with eight contests on Friday, Nov. 4 and marks the start of a conference-wide commitment to make all men’s and women’s hoop games available, right through to the Canada West Final Four in March 2012.
“Rather than our fans spending time searching the web for links to a broadcast, they can go to one place and find everything they are looking for,” said Matchett. “Stretch Internet and the Sports Information Directors at all Canada West schools have worked very hard to see this happen, and we are looking forward to a great initial season and beyond.”
The site is www.canadawest.tv