Raptors To Broadcast Game In Punjabi

Watch Matt Devlin's Interview With Parminder Singh

March 18, 2009

The Toronto Raptors and CBC Sports announced Tuesday that the Raptors versus the Los Angeles Clippers game on Sunday, March 22 will be broadcast in the Punjabi language. This marks 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 handle the colour commentary.

"We're thrilled to work with CBC Sports on this exciting initiative that allows us to connect with Raptors fans in the South Asian community in a meaningful way," said Chris Hebb, senior vice-president of broadcast and content for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "The Raptors have a strong multicultural fan base and with our country's demographics changing at a rapid pace, we’re continually looking for new ways to engage our fans.”

Hebb added that Raptors research has found Punjabi to be a strong fit for another broadcast language given the popularity of basketball among Torontonians and Canadians who consider it to be their primary language or mother tongue. The team will evaluate the success of the broadcast and will look to engage other multicultural communities for future games.

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.

The Raptors vs. Clippers broadcast takes place on CBC Television on Sunday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Punjabi version of the broadcast will be available free to Bell TV subscribers on channel 249; to Rogers digital cable subscribers in Ontario and New Brunswick on channel 401; and to Shaw Digital Cable subscribers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on channel 333. Viewers should contact their local service provider for more details.

Visit www.raptors.com for more information.