By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Wednesday that Stretch Internet will be the Association’s official video-streaming provider, beginning with the 2014 - 15 season. In conjunction with this partnership, the NAIA will launch The NAIA Channel, which will be a high-definition video-streaming network available on mobile devices, tablets and laptops.
Starting with the 2014 - 15 season, there will be up to 18 NAIA National Championship events in high-definition quality on pay-per-view and free subscription levels. Fans will also have an opportunity to watch a range of conference tournament games from up to 23 conferences and a variety of games from up to 260 member institutions. The games will be live and on-demand archived events. The archived events will be available to the user for up to 12 months after the event. In addition, there will be live and on-demand championship selection shows, weekly shows, interviews and other NAIA-featured content.
Detailed information on The NAIA Channel will be announced at a later date.
"The partnership with Stretch Internet will offer NAIA fans an opportunity to experience video streaming with high-quality customer service at an entirely different level," said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “Not only will NAIA National Championships be on The NAIA Channel, but this platform will offer as many conference championships and institutional sporting events as possible.
“Stretch Internet is a proven success in the collegiate video-streaming environment. In addition, over 120 NAIA schools are existing clients of Stretch Internet which makes The NAIA Channel more robust. We will continue to increase the visibility of our national championships, conferences and member institutions and enhance the student-athlete experience with this new partnership.”
Stretch Internet is a leader in high-definition quality collegiate video-streaming services and currently owns a client list of more than 120 NAIA member institutions. Based out of Gilbert, Ariz., Stretch Internet broadcasts more than 35,000 live events a year from its pool of over 500-plus collegiate partners. President and CEO Ryan Ermeling founded the company in 2003. Ermeling is a graduate of current NAIA institution Concordia University in Irvine, Calif.
"We are ecstatic to kick off a partnership with the NAIA," said Ermeling. "We've been providing services to NAIA institutions for more than 10 years and work with more than 100 members of the association, so this partnership makes sense in every way.
“The timing for the NAIA couldn't be better – our new GameCentral 2.0 platform will create an 'umbrella' network for the NAIA, with easy and intuitive access to any NAIA broadcast within the Stretch network. Additionally, our ability to tightly integrate live statistics, social media and highlights into the portal will provide schools, conferences and the NAIA at large with features usually only found at the highest levels of professional sports."
The new GameCentral 2.0 platform will house all of the video content. Features include high-definition multi-stream viewing, instant highlights, social media integration, and enhanced statistical components powered by DakStats.
This partnership will not only continue to build the NAIA video-streaming network, but give NAIA institutions and conferences the opportunity for a discounted rate. This discount will be offered to any new Stretch Internet client and can only be applied to the unlimited streaming package. More information will be shared on this at a later date.
National Championship events that have a paid subscription will have two price points: 1) single-championships, which the fan can watch all events associated with that championship event; and 2) all-championship pass, which the fan can watch all championships for a given academic year.
The broadcast schedule for future NAIA National Championships will be announced at a later date.
About the NAIA
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 60,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $500 million in scholarships and compete in 23 national championships. To learn more, visit www.NAIA.org.
About Stretch Internet
Stretch Internet, based in Gilbert, Ariz., was founded in 2003 by a former college athletics media relations professional who saw a need to provide affordable, high-quality streaming to college and university athletic departments. Since its formation more than 11 years ago, Stretch has expanded to provide services for more than 500 colleges and universities, high schools, organizations and non-sports entities. A devotion to utilizing innovative streaming technologies and providing a first-class presentation – backed by the best customer support in the business – have helped Stretch Internet become one of the largest and most respected streaming media specialists in the industry. To learn more, visit www.stretchinternet.com.