Campus Life

Canada West takes a bold step forward

Fans of Canada West Athletics and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns will find it much easier to follow their teams this season with the introduction of CanadaWest.TV, a new web-based broadcasting service that debuts this month.

What it means for Horns followers is the opportunity to watch every U of L basketball game, both home and away, as well as all home hockey games and a select number of road contests.

"Our biggest goal with CanadaWest.TV is to try and strengthen the Canada West brand," says U of L Sports Information and Events Co-ordinator, Eoin Colquhoun.

Partnering with Stretch Internet, Canada West will be able to present a first of its kind university sport broadcast network. It will serve initially as the exclusive home to all Canada West basketball and volleyball games, along with selected games in other sports including football, hockey and soccer.

"The big step towards this took place last year when we mandated that all Canada West basketball games needed to be webcast," says Colquhoun. "Volleyball is also mandatory and then it will be up to individual schools to make decisions on what sports they decide to webcast. This year we'll also include our home hockey games."

Not only will the games be available by accessing CanadaWest.TV online from your computer, all streamed games will also be available on 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.

The overriding theme of the partnership is to expose Canada West sports to as many people as possible.

"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," says Ben Matchett, Canada West VP, Marketing. "Our new mobile platform also means they will not miss a minute of the action no matter where they go."

For Colquhoun, the logistics of staging a webcast are relatively simple, thanks to the support of Stretch Internet. He says the conference looked at eight to 10 proposals before signing on with Stretch.

"They provide us with all the software we need," he says. "We literally need to have somebody running the camera and whatever else we want to do with it is up to us. Their software allows us to interlay some stats and so forth and as we learn how to work with it, we'll probably be able to do a little more."

It's up to member schools as to whether they will include play-by-play description of the games. Colquhoun says that, at least for the first year, the Horns will go with picture only.

"What's great about it is that it provides one place where any Canada West fan of any school can go and find the webcasts," he says. "It's not a different location for every school or every sport as it may have been in the past, it's all in one place and hopefully we will expand fans of the whole Canada West product as a result."


• Available at, the first game broadcast on the new network was the Sept. 2 Canada West football game between the Regina Rams and UBC Thunderbirds.

• The Horns debut on the network Sept. 30 when the men's hockey team hosts the University of Saskatchewan.

• The Canada West basketball season begins Nov. 4. Pronghorn fans will be able to watch the Horns on the road at the University of Winnipeg.

This story first appeared in the September issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.