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Raptors To Broadcast CBC Games In Punjabi

November 20, 2009

The Toronto Raptors and CBC Sports announced Friday that they will partner together to broadcast eight CBC Raptors home games in Punjabi during the 2009-10 season. Last season’s Raptors game versus Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, March 22, 2009 marked the team's first South Asian language broadcast in franchise history.

Parminder Singh, voice of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi broadcast and OMNI Television host, will handle play-by-play responsibilities and Harnarayan Singh, CBC Calgary radio news reporter, will call the colour commentary. "We're excited to extend our Punjabi language broadcast relationship with CBC Sports to our basketball team given the initial success of last season’s broadcast,” said Chris Hebb, senior vice-president of Broadcast and Content for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “Basketball resonates with many Canadians and newcomers to Canada whose primary language or mother tongue is Punjabi. Our Raptors broadcast in Punjabi will enable us to continue connecting and engaging with Raptors fans in the South Asian community in a meaningful way."

According to Statistics Canada census data, Punjabi is considered one of the top 15 languages outside of English and the top South Asian language spoken in Toronto. Punjabi is also one of the top five languages spoken at home in Canada.

“CBC continues to reach out to all Canadians and provide them with the most comprehensive and accessible sports coverage in the country,” said Scott Moore, executive director, CBC Sports and general manager, CBC Media Sales and Marketing. “This is an opportunity to grow the Raptors fan base and connect families with each other and the sport. The Punjabi community has embraced CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada by Parminder Singh and Harnarayan Singh and I know the response to the Toronto Raptor broadcasts will be just as positive.”

The first Raptors Punjabi broadcast takes place on CBC Television Sunday, November 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET when the Raptors host the Orlando Magic at Air Canada Centre.

The Punjabi version of the broadcast will be available free to Rogers digital cable subscribers in Ontario and New Brunswick on channel 385; to Bell TV subscribers on channel 249 in all provinces; and to Shaw digital cable subscribers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on channel 324. Viewers should contact their local service provider for more details.

Basketball fans can visit www.raptors.com or twitter.com/raptors for more information. Fans can also follow updates about the Raptors Punjabi broadcasts on Twitter: Punjabiball or on Facebook at NBA Basketball in Punjabi.