League1BC Expands Its Streaming Options for 2023
It was announced Wednesday that League1 BC will be taking a big step in diversifying the ways in which fans can watch their matches beyond the bleachers.
The league has now made an announcement revealing that a total of sixteen feature matches split evenly between men’s and women’s double-headers, plus the L1BC final itself, will be broadcast live to the league’s official Youtube channel.
In order to provide equal coverage of every one of it’s teams, all eight franchises will be featured twice – once at home and once on the road – ensuring an opportunity for clubs to enjoy the enhanced matchday experience and multi-camera production put on by the league.
This also allows for supporters, scouts, stakeholders, and future League1 BC stars to see all teams in a variety of matches and contexts at no cost.
Additionally, the League said that those 18 featured matches will also be watchable on a linear TV channel (read: cable) in an attempt to reach a wider audience, though the provider of said channel is still to be announced.
Every single one of League1 BC’s 115 fixtures for the 2023 season will also be available for free and on-demand on YouTube.
The 18 featured matches to be featured live are:
APR 29 – Harbourside FC v Unity FC
MAY 13 – Rivers FC v Nautsa’mawt FC
MAY 21 – Altitude FC v Rivers FC
MAY 27 – Whitecaps FC v TSS Rovers
JUN 11 – TSS Rovers v Altitude FC
JUN 24 – Nautsa’mawt FC v Highlanders FC
JUL 2 – Highlanders FC v Harbourside FC
JUL 15 – Unity FC v Whitecaps FC
AUG 5-7 – League1 BC Championship Game
In an attempt to provide an additional level of professionalism to their pro-am league, all 18 featured matches will be hosted by Katie Hamilton and Peter Schaad, bringing greater insight for viewers on all League1 BC match-ups.
Hamilton is described as “a lifelong servant to the sport”, having played for 20 years, coaching for a youth girls club in Victoria, and most recently serving as a side-line reporter with OneSoccer for their CanWNT & Canadian Premier League coverage.
Schaad himself is also a youth soccer coach in Ladner, BC, though the majority of his knowledge of the sport stems from a 30-year long career as a broadcaster on local and national TV with ‘MLS on TSN’ and TSN Radio Vancouver.
This news comes as a stark contrast to how L1BC fans coast-to-coast were able to consume matches last season, as in 2022, fans had to purchase a subscription to the league’s streaming service ‘Hometeam Live‘, which also showcased leagues such as the Western Canadian Baseball League and other smaller, regional sports leagues.
L1BC drew criticism for its decision to use a paid subscription service for its matches while their sister league in Ontario, League1 Ontario, provided its matches to fans for free on YouTube both live (once a week) and on-demand.
Now it seems that the league has taken that criticism to the drawing board, bringing us to this week’s announcement.
There is no word yet on whether the league plans to use Hometeam Live for the 2023 season or not, though in the press release it was stated that fans will “no longer [have to] stream matches via a paid subscription.”
The 2023 League1 BC season is set to kick off on April 29th between league champs TSS Rovers and the newly-rebranded Nautsa’mawt FC. The season is due to run between late April and early August, culminating in a BC Day Final.