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Women’s volleyball is one of the sports now available live over the Internet via Canada West. TV.
PHO TO: DAVID MOLL, COUR TES Y OF UNIVERSI T Y OF CALGAR Y
University sports in Western
Canada go live online
Live streaming of games on the Internet called a model for the future
university sports in Western Canada now have
greater visibility, thanks to the launch of an
online network called CanadaWest.TV. Since
September, the new network is live streaming
over the Internet all volleyball and basketball
games, along with selected games in other sports,
for all 14 institutions that are members of the
Canada West Universities Athletic Association.
“We’ve been working on this concept for
about three years,” says Ben Matchett, assistant
athletic director at the University of Calgary and
a member of the board of directors for Canada
West. The first step, he says, was to get each uni-
versity to provide live webcasts of their games.
“That was our first mandate – to get the games
out there.” Once that was accomplished, the goal
was to consolidate the webcasts in one place,
which was done in partnership with a video-
streaming company called Stretch Internet. The
games are available not just online but also on
mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads.
The long-term goal, says Mr. Matchett, is to
have every game in every sport webcast. But, for
now, the association is focussing on basketball
because it is the one sport that every member in
the division competes in, and on volleyball because it shares the same venue as basketball.
After that, it is left to each university to decide
what else they wish to webcast. University of
Victoria, for instance, is adding all their soccer
games while the University of Lethbridge will
live stream their hockey games. The next logical
step for the universities is football, because “it’s
the flagship, marquee sport,” says Mr. Matchett.
“I really think this is the future. You see all
kinds of American schools that are moving to a
model like this.” – léo charbonneau