Broadcasting Canadian sports to 136 countries
The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) is the third-largest collegiate conference in Canada. Since 2009, the conference has been streaming basketball, hockey, volleyball and other games to fans around the world.
With 17 member universities, that means a huge amount of video. And ACAC wasn’t prepared for the success it found in the sports streaming arena.
“Connecting athletes to their communities abroad is one of our top priorities”
ACAC’s streaming efforts quickly attracted a worldwide audience. Sports fans tuned in for live streams and recorded video to keep up with their favorite teams. Canadian and international viewers alike couldn’t get enough.
As its online video efforts grew, ACAC started running into trouble. More sports and more fans meant more effort in keeping up the site. The large number of moving parts also made it difficult to scale the video operation to keep up with the demands of the market and fans.
“As a sports association with athletes from around the world,” says ACAC CEO Mark Kosak, “connecting athletes to their communities abroad is one of our top priorities. This athletic conference has gone from having ‘no idea’ what to do with our videos, to building our own international video network.”
A worldwide phenomenon
In the fall of 2016, we worked with the conference to launch ACACTV. This all-in-one video broadcast and streaming platform gives ACAC full control over its sports streaming empire.
Games are broadcast live around the world, and every game is instantly converted to video-on-demand for fans to watch whenever they like. Even with multiple teams and sports, Vidflex keeps everything organized.
When uploading a video, all ACAC has to do is tag it with gender, sport, and team—then it’s automatically categorized and uploaded to the right place on the site. A calendar shows viewers what’s coming up in the future. Coaches and scouts can even download game footage immediately for review.
In short, ACACTV gives everyone what they need, from the conference to the teams to the fans. And the fans are loving it.
Results in the first 3 seasons
22 years worth of footage watched
ACACTV has been a huge success. In the first 90 days after it launched, ACAC broadcasted 634 live games. Viewers in 87 countries watched over 55,000 hours of footage.
Those numbers skyrocketed over the course of the next two years. Over 130,000 viewers in 136 countries watched more than 22 years’ worth of footage. The number of viewers grew by 39%.
And the service is still growing. ACACTV saw an increase in viewership of 28% between the 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons. Viewers streamed 14 years’ worth of video in a single school year alone.
ACAC has found huge success with its streaming efforts, but they also found something else: an entirely new revenue stream.
A new platform for advertising
Most games on ACACTV can be streamed for free by anyone, anywhere in the world. But Vidflex provides many monetization options. ACAC has used those tools to leverage its huge viewership numbers into advertising revenue.
Vidflex makes it easy to insert banner and pre-roll ads on any video, and ACAC has sold this space to sponsors. Huge viewership numbers have helped them attract big names like CCM, Royal Bank of Canada, and Westjet.
It’s a great example of how Vidflex lets publishers make money on their own terms. Even giving away hundreds of thousands of video-hours, ACAC can bring in money to support the great things it’s doing for college sports.
Combine that with pay-per-view access to championship games, and you start to see why ACACTV has been such an unqualified financial success for Alberta colleges.
A pro-sports-level video platform
A quick look at ACACTV shows viewers that the organization is serious about streaming sports.
Videos are well organized and easy to browse. Finding games from the sport and gender viewers are looking for takes only a few seconds. Visitors can find all the videos from their favorite schools. They can see a calendar of upcoming events so they know when to expect new games from their teams. There’s even an integrated Twitter feed to get the latest updates from ACAC.
We helped ACAC create the perfect front-end site for its needs. We asked what would create a great experience for sports fans, and they gave us a list of things they’d like. We turned that list into the ACACTV site you see today.
We’re proud of what we put together, and both viewers and the conference have expressed their appreciation for it.
Sports streaming for a next-generation, worldwide community
ACAC’s worldwide sports streaming operation continues to grow. Sports fans from all around the world watch their favorite teams and sports on demand thanks to ACACTV. And with customizable pay-per-view and advertising options, the conference is generating new revenue to continue its mission of sharing Canadian collegiate sports with the world.
This athletic conference has gone from having “no idea” what to do with their videos to a leading example of how a video platform can help move an industry forward into a new age.