St. Ambrose alumni from coast-to-coast can pull up an easy chair and their computer to watch the St. Ambrose Fighting Bees and Queen Bees basketball teams play live at home the rest of the 2011-2012 season. Ten men's games, plus another nine Queen Bees tilts, will stream via live video this season.
Second-year Queen Bees coach Krista Van Hauen is excited that each of her squad's nine home Midwest Collegiate Conference contests can be watched live, from anywhere.
"I think it's huge just for recruits and parents who can't get to a game," said Van Hauen, whose nationally ranked Queen Bees will hit the World Wide Web live vs. Ashford University on Dec. 3. "I think it's big-time for a school like ours to do that. Most Division I schools have it."
The webcasts will be picked up from the student-produced SAUtv telecast, but now the broadcasts will extend to a much larger audience.
"We wanted to do it a long time ago," said Don "Duke" Schneider, operations manager for SAUtv. "We do these games with multiple cameras, slow-motion replay, all that kind of stuff."
SAUtv and public radio station KALA have been providing streaming audio for Fighting Bees athletics for several years, but the bandwith required to send video over the Internet was an issue.
Two years ago, the university started using Stretch Internet, an Arizona-based web portal, to televise the NAIA National Volleyball Championships from Lee Lohman Arena the past two springs.
SAU basketball will be shown at the Stretch Internet website, but links to the webcasts can be found on several SAU web pages, including athletics and SAUtv.
Schneider said basketball should be a popular addition to the webcast menu.
"The alums love it," he said. "To know they can watch basketball games live, it's a pretty good deal."
SAU men's coach and athletic director Ray Shovlain agreed.
"Anything that gives more publicity to St. Ambrose is great," he said. "I think the whole thing is a super positive."