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Designing the Future of Sports Fan Engagement With 5G: Rogers, Sportsnet, and University of Waterloo Team Up for Hockey Hackathon

Virtual hackathon enables young innovators to reimagine the future of sports media technology

November 16, 2020 – Rogers Communications, Sportsnet, and the University of Waterloo today announced the launch of the Sportsnet Hockey Hack: Powered by Rogers 5G. The virtual hackathon offers a unique opportunity for students to design applications to enhance the fan experience for Sportsnet viewers, using Rogers’s 5G technology and data from the NHL’s Puck and Player Tracking system during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The participating teams of students will also take advantage of Intel technology, software tools and expertise, including Intel Smart Edge and OpenVINO, to build applications designed to create fun, immersive viewing experiences for Sportsnet and NHL fans. Potential solutions may involve augmented reality and second screen experiences, as well as fantasy and other gaming or e-commerce applications.

“The next generation of sports fans will engage with and experience our broadcasts in ways we can’t even imagine today,” said Bart Yabsley, President, Sportsnet. “As Sportsnet continues to be a leader in sports technology innovation, we are excited to work with some of Canada’s top young minds at the University of Waterloo to discover how Rogers 5G technology can change the way millions of NHL fans watch and engage with the sport.”

Today Rogers also announced a 5G program dedicated to the research and development of sports and fan engagement. The new program is included in its three-year partnership agreement with the University of Waterloo to advance 5G research in the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor. In September, Rogers also lit up the University of Waterloo’s 5G Smart Campus to support university researchers testing 5G applications in a real-world setting such as smart city infrastructure monitoring and alerting systems, asset tracking technologies, and more.

“5G is at our doorstep and it’s poised to change the world as we know it. Fan engagement is a very interesting use-case and one that will really benefit from the ultra-low latency of this next generation technology,” said Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers Communications. “Our work with the University of Waterloo focuses on bringing together our country’s brightest minds to advance Canada’s 5G roadmap and I’m excited to see what the students come up with at this hackathon.”

With the guidance of experts, mentors, and feedback from stakeholders, each student team will work throughout the week to create a working prototype of their application and showcase their idea to a panel of judges in hopes of earning prizes, job placement opportunities, and potential funding to transform the prototype into reality. The judges are Bart Yabsley (President, Sportsnet), Mina Chan (VP Video and Entertainment Services, Rogers Communications), Jonathan Kyle (Engineering Director, Intel), Grant Nodine (Senior Vice President, Technology, NHL), and Marisa Benjamin (Research Communications Officer, University of Waterloo).

“The University of Waterloo is very proud to be working with Rogers, Sportsnet, and the NHL to make the experience of watching a game on TV more interesting and interactive for hockey fans,” said Bridget Moloney, Managing Director of Waterloo’s Gateway for Enterprises to Discover Innovation (GEDI).

“Waterloo has a proud tradition of student innovation. This project will give our students the chance to interact with cutting-edge 5G technology and will really showcase how these bright young people will shape the future of corporate Canada,” said Carly Cameron, Manager of Entrepreneurship Experience at Concept, the campus-focused entrepreneurship unit leading the hackathon.

About University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is at the forefront of innovation and is home to transformational research and inspired learning. Located in the heart of Canada’s technology hub, Waterloo is growing a network of global partnerships that will shape the future by working beyond disciplines and building bridges with industry, institutions and communities.

About Rogers
Rogers is a proud Canadian company dedicated to making more possible for Canadians each and every day. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. We have grown to become a leading technology and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential, sports, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). If you want to find out more about us, visit 

About Sportsnet
Sportsnet is Canada’s #1 sports network. Uniting Canadians through sport, Sportsnet’s multimedia offerings include Sportsnet (consisting of 4 regional channels: East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet World, the Sportsnet Radio Network,, Sportsnet NOW, SN NOW+, the Sportsnet app, and podcasts. Sportsnet is the official Canadian NHL national multiplatform rights holder, and is the regional broadcaster for the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet also has extensive coverage of the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors, as well as NBA, MLB, Grand Slam of Curling, Rogers Cup, CHL, IndyCar, WWE, Super League Rugby, Premiership Rugby, Bundesliga, FA WSL, and FA Cup. Sportsnet is part of Rogers Sports & Media, which is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX, NYSE: RCI). Visit

Media Contacts
Sportsnet: Jason Jackson,, 416.602.4033
Rogers Communications:, 647.747.5118
University of Waterloo: Rebecca Elming,, 647.459.8313