QTV loses rights

Men’s volleyball nationals to be webcast on Sports Streaming Network

The Queen's TV team webcasts a varsity game at the ARC. Since signing a $4,000 contract with Queen's Athletics in November, QTV has webcast seven varsity games and will webcast four more.
The Queen's TV team webcasts a varsity game at the ARC. Since signing a $4,000 contract with Queen's Athletics in November, QTV has webcast seven varsity games and will webcast four more.

Queen’s TV won’t get rights to webcast Queen’s first national championship to be hosted at the ARC.

The on-campus media outlet signed a $4,000 deal with Queen’s Athletics in November, contracting them to webcast 20 varsity home games including the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s volleyball championship in March.

But Athletics officials were informed in January that CIS was contractually obligated to use Ottawa-based internet streaming company SSN Canada to webcast the volleyball championship.

“There was a bit of a miscommunication,” CIS Sponsor Servicing Officer Tony von Richter said. “We see it as a great opportunity for both sides to work together … it’s going to be a great webcast.”

Twelve of the 19 schools in the OUA and 19 of 52 schools in the CIS use SSN to webcast their home games.

The CIS owns the webcasting rights to national championships — but not regular-season games — and SSN has a deal for exclusive rights to those championships.

“The men’s volleyball championship is going to be broadcast on SSN,” von Richter said.

Bengt Neathery is the president of iSi Global Webcasting, which owns SSN. He said he expects around 30,000 to 40,000 online viewers for the men’s volleyball championship.

Neathery said QTV can choose to produce all game footage at the championship, except for game commentary. The webcast will be branded with CIS and QTV logos. All footage will be posted exclusively on SSN’s website, Neathery said.

SSN will provide staff and extra equipment on-site in Kingston.

“We’re hoping to pass off some extra knowledge,” Neathery said. “The ulterior motive is to establish a relationship with Queen’s to say ‘Hey, we want you to produce the best video you can and we want you to distribute it on the best sports network in the country.’

“We better just get something working well and shake some hands and have a pint or two, which I suspect will be the case ... We’re all trying to achieve the same goal.”

Neathery said he’s had unsuccessful negotiations with Queen’s Athletics about using SSN over QTV in the past. He said Queen’s alumni regularly call SSN to ask why it doesn’t webcast Queen’s home games.

“We see the big picture, which is that any one [school] is not going to get [enough] viewership to create sponsorship opportunities and generate revenue back to them,” he said.

QTV will webcast four more regular-season home games before the volleyball championship. Neathery said he wouldn’t charge Athletics to put those games on SSN’s website.

Neathery said he thinks QTV is looking forward to working with SSN.

“There shouldn’t be any conflict with us and somebody who’s providing on-site production,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect anyone to be territorial over that for a national championship.”

Athletics marketing manager Lana Unsworth couldn’t be reached for comment.

QTV executive producer Eugene Michasiw said he’s in discussions with Athletics officials and couldn’t comment on the volleyball championship.

“We look forward to broadcasting the CIS championships in some capacity,” Michasiw said. “What we’ve done this year has been a really great initiative to get students involved in a very different aspect of Athletics.”

— With files from Jake Edmiston

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