By Christie Melhorn
Canada West announced a partnership with the streaming company Yare Media on May 10 to improve Canadawest.tv, the conference’s streaming platform.
Yare streamed the Winter Olympic Games and the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) games in 2016. The latter gathered over 250,000 online viewers – a UEFA record.
Canadawest.tv was launched in 2011 to provide live streams of university games and events with a focus on football, hockey, basketball and volleyball. While it has found success, Yare is working on improving the service’s usability.
Dinos assistant athletic director of communications Ben Matchett said the new partnership will give the Dinos more exposure.
“This new platform is going to allow us to do some fun things with social media,” Matchett said. “Instant highlights will be pushed right out onto our Twitter and Facebook page. The viewership we get on those little snippets of that incredible play — those 15–20 seconds — are driving huge audience numbers for us.”
Matchett hopes the service will bring attention to University of Calgary student athletes.
“Across all of our sports, we’re producing really high-level, high-end athletes,” he said. “We want to be able to give them the opportunity to be seen by as many people as possible because for the time and effort that they’re putting into it, they really deserve that recognition.”
Even if you’re watching a stream from a spotty corner of campus, Matchett said you won’t get stuck watching a “whirling wheel of death on the screen.”
“Now it actually won’t buffer. It won’t stop, it will just pixelate,” he said.
While Matchett said that nothing can beat experiencing a live game, he thinks the new streaming service will make Dinos games more accessible.
“It’s good for the international student athletes, that their family and friends can watch them play. It’s obviously a benefit to even just people from out of town,” he said. “It’s also good for our fans who want to watch our team on the road.”
Canadawest.tv currently sells a streaming subscription for all of the conference’s games and events. Single-sport and day passes are also available.
Matchett said a new package offering streams of all games and events involving a particular school will also be available with the site’s relaunch.
“We’re adding a school pass this year so you can watch every Dinos game in every sport from start to finish,” he said.
The new Canadawest.tv will launch in mid-August.