The 2015 season will be the second in a row without any OUA games broadcast on national television. Not even the Yates Cup will be on TV. That is a shame!
The OUA actually spurned a group [the Northern8 partners] that offered to pay all the production costs for eight weekly broadcasts, each with a top OUA team facing off against a top team from another conference. In that plan we would have seen the Gryphons host Calgary on Sept 12 and take on Laval in Quebec City on Oct 10. Both games would have been televised nationally.
This past week it was announced that the Canada West Conference, in partnership with the Northern8 Group, will see 50% more of their games broadcast on Shaw Cable and two playoff games broadcast nationally on Global Television. But still nothing new from the OUA. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the OUA to fix this problem.
One benefit of the OUA losing it’s TV deal with Sportsnet, is it was forced to launch OUA.tv. The Canada West and Atlantic University Sport conferences already had online networks. OUA.tv is an important addition but something that should have been in place years earlier.
For more on this topic read this article – For Future of Football, look West – by the London Free Press’s Morris DallaCosta. A few highlights:
The N8 group is headed by Saskatchewan businessman David Dube and Vancouver broadcaster Jim Mullin.
They’ve been working like crazy, and using their own money, trying to convince those who run university football that an interlocking schedule involving top teams will not only make the university football product more enjoyable but also more saleable to fans, advertisers and television.
It doesn’t get any simpler.
Not surprisingly, the biggest foot-dragger is the OUA. [emphasis mine]
As the OUA marinates, Dube, television and Canada West put one foot in front of the other advancing their own product.
“It’s a step forward.,” Dube said. “We found willing, progressive partners, people focused on progress rather than preeminence. They wanted to drive their image and their brand forward. Once we had that, then it was a matter of taking in an existing partner which was Shaw who did kind of regional coverage and take it to the next level with Global and sit down and see if we could create value and interest in their part. Once we did that, it’s when the magic started.”
Even though Dube and Mullin could have thrown their hands up in despair after the lack of resolve on the part of some football conferences for the interlocking schedule, they remained determined to create a higher profile for the sport.
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I did suggest there was some GOOD NEWS. It comes with this announcement from Gryphons.ca – Gryphons Announce Exciting New Partnership with Rogers TV
Guelph, ON – Gryphon Athletics has teamed up with Rogers TV Cable 20 to form an exciting new partnership for the upcoming 2015-16 season. From September until late February, Rogers TV will televise over 60 Gryphon varsity football, basketball, hockey and volleyball games for viewers from across the Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Stratford areas.
All of the games will be produced by the Gryphvision broadcast team, with the feed then being simulcast by Rogers TV. All of the Gryphons regular season football, basketball, hockey and volleyball games will also continue to be streamed live online at OUA.tv. Fans of Gryphon Football who are unable to make it out to Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoons this Fall are in luck as all Gryphon home football games will air live on Rogers TV beginning with the home opener on Monday, September 7 versus Laurier. Tom Kendall, the Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph, stated “We are thrilled to partner with Rogers TV to help further expand the coverage of our talented student-athletes here at the University of Guelph. The opportunity to have our games televised for the greater community means that U of G supporters can now enjoy Gryphon sports like never before, while those unfamiliar with the OUA will be able to see first-hand the incredible level at which these teams compete.” Supervising Producer at Rogers TV, Jeremy Cook, added “Our alliance with Gryphon Athletics and the GryphVision broadcast team means more local sports coverage for Rogers customers. This is a win-win situation for sports fans and Guelph athletes competing at the varsity, high school and minor levels.”