After almost a month of confusion, Queen’s TV has been given the go-ahead to produce webcasts for the upcoming national volleyball championship at Queen’s.
The student-run media outlet will produce video for all 11 games at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s volleyball championship at the ARC March 2 to 4. But an Ottawa-based internet streaming company has exclusive rights to have the video on its website.
QTV signed a $4,000 deal with Queen’s Athletics and Recreation in November to webcast 20 varsity home games this season, including the CIS championship.
But Athletics found out in January that CIS is contractually obligated to use Sports Streaming Network Canada’s (SSN) website to stream championship play.
“It’s kind of the way I was hoping things would start out to be,” SSN Canada president Bengt Neathery said. “We’re going to work together and pull off an awesome championship.”
QTV executive producer Eugene Michasiw said he spoke to Neathery for the first time two weeks ago. Michasiw reached an informal agreement with Queen’s Athletics officials last week, settling the final terms during the Monday conference call that included Neathery, Athletics marketing manager Lana Unsworth, Athletics marketing assistant Nick Sirski and CIS communications manager Michel Belanger.
“It’s exciting. It could turn out to be one of the really good webcasts of the CIS championships,” Belanger said.
Michasiw said everyone wanted QTV to produce the webcast, but that he wanted QTV to get credit.
“The broadcast will be branded as a QTV broadcast,” Michasiw said. “We’re really excited ... it definitely wasn’t easy to get to this point.”
Michasiw said SSN usually webcasts at a 240-pixel resolution, but that QTV will probably webcast games at 360 pixels.
“We can do a far superior job in terms of offering instant replay and onscreen graphics packages with scores and everything ... that SSN just can’t do with their own basic system,” he said. “The score bar will be branded as a QTV score bar, the little transparent QTV logo will be there on all the broadcasts.”
Michasiw said he expects 20,000 to 30,000 viewers to tune in for CIS webcasts, much higher than the 200 to 300 viewers that tune into the average QTV webcast.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time students have had a leadership role in producing a CIS broadcast,” he said. “We’re really excited about the entire partnership and to see it grow next year.”
Athletics marketing manager Lana Unsworth declined an interview with the Journal, but released a statement via email.
“We are pleased with the direction we are heading with regard to webcasting for the CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship. All parties are working together to provide the best possible webcasting production and we look forward to the final product,” the statement read.