In its 2011 population survey results, Statistics Canada revealed that Punjabi is among the top 10 immigrant languages spoken most often at home in Canada. For those Punjabi speakers who may have enjoyed a tradition of sports before coming to Canada, learning about and following the very Canadian game of hockey can provide a key to joining everyday Canadian culture. Where sticky wickets previously reigned, for keen initiates there are now nets; and for Googlys… slapshots?
Enter CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts: every Saturday, HNIC national doubleheaders are presented in Punjabi by the experienced team of Harnarayan Singh (@IceSinghHNIC) providing the play-by-play commentary; and Bhola Chauhan and Inderpreet Cumo (@InderpreetHNIC) offering analysis. Live broadcasts can be found easily through a variety of sources — via online streaming at cbcsports.ca; and on television via Bell Satellite channel 232, Bell Fibe TV 233, Rogers Digital TV channel 799, Shaw Digital TV channel 328, and TELUS Optik TV 131.
Between Hockey Night in Canada games, enthusiasts can enjoy further hockey analysis and commentary from Singh and Chauhan, as they stickhandle through current hockey news, especially that relating to Canadian NHL teams, in a weekly podcast presented in Punjabi. A sampling of recent programs includes a look at the NHL's new realignment plan, the Edmonton Oilers' promising young players, possible NHL participation in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, and potential expansion of the NHL to 32 teams. Podcasts are available at any time at cbcsports.ca/punjabi, and on iTunes every Thursday during the 2012-2013 NHL season.
Bringing hockey to Canadian audiences in Punjabi, and utilising a number of different technological platforms to do so, allows CBC/Radio-Canada to reach out to and serve a broader, diverse Canadian audience — where they are, and in a way that is compelling and meaningful to them. CBC’s Punjabi broadcasts also hold the potential to bridge Canadian communities, as well as generations, through the game of hockey. These aspirations are in line with the Corporation’s strategic plan, 2015: Everyone, Every way.