Hockey Night in Punjabi Growing the Fan Base in Vancouver

(electronic music) (speaking in Punjabi) – I remember we’d be
playing EA Sports NHL, and I would just do some
commentary in Punjabi, and we’d all laugh and we’d
think it was hilarious. – Yeah. – Who would have thought
that 20 some odd years later that we’d actually be on
the broadcast, number one, and then secondly, that
it would be available for people to actually
enjoy it, in that language. – Yeah, when we were
younger, I remember playing the same video games, whether it was Jim Houghson’s voice, or whatever, you’d always throw,
maybe, a Punjabi accent on one of the players names,
or something of that nature, but do you ever think you’d be doing that, or that it would be available to people? No, and that’s the beauty of it. – Credit to CBC, they
instituted a pilot project that tried broadcasting hockey games in a variety of languages, and with the Punjabi broadcast, it just kind of resonated, and it stuck. (speaking in Punjabi) Brock Boeser! (speaking in Punjabi) – The story of Hockey Night Punjabi is intertwined with the city of Vancouver. Our studio is here in Vancouver, so our studio broadcast
takes place from here, but also, those early days, especially, there was a very strong
Vancouver Canucks team, so there’s a lot of people in this market, and in Vancouver, that
used to pay attention, and watch our games, as well, so that plays a central
role in our story, as well, that Vancouver is front and center as a part of the story of
Hockey Night in Punjabi. We’re a national broadcast, but Vancouver does have a special place in that story. – I think a lot of the
people who do check out our broadcasts will
say, there’s two things. One, there’s a lot of energy. Two, it’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of fun off-air, and that translates to the
fun that we have on-air, and we’re not afraid to have that fun, and be able to bring a lot of energy. – It’s a different experience. There’s a lot of people
that come up to us and say, hey, you guys just have fun. I have no idea what you’re saying, I’m not a Punjabi speaker,
I’m not of Punjabi background, but we just love the energy, and that’s the beauty of it, right? I think sometimes in
sports, across the board, we generally take things too seriously. You play and you watch
because you wanna have fun. Sometimes your team
wins, sometimes you lose, but the fact of the matter
is you wanna have fun. – In addition to
providing a fun atmosphere and a fun broadcast, we’re representing the South Asian community, to the broader community, at large, and we take that
responsibility very seriously. We have this purpose,
too, of being people who kind of break down some barriers, that the community, I think, appreciates, and I think that goes a long way, in terms of us being successful and us continuing to move forward and progress. – Diversity is a great thing. If you can add another language to the mix and it helps grow the game of hockey, that’s great for the sport of hockey, that’s great for
Vancouver, and that’s great for all of us to have
one common bond where you can be of any background, but if I go to a bar here, or if somebody
goes to school the next day, what can we talk about? We talk about hockey. We talk about how the Canucks won, or maybe they didn’t win, but whatever happens,
that’s the common bond that brings us together.

12 thoughts on “Hockey Night in Punjabi Growing the Fan Base in Vancouver

  1. coming frm a punjabi guy… lol @ that commentry… we dont wanna listen to that strong english punjabi accent. I ve never watched a game in punjabi, love the english commentators

  2. Canada – the country with no identity. Nobody who pushes multiculturalism or multi-racialism is going to be having a good time soon enough. Keep stoking the flames, but don't ask for mercy when the fires consume you.

  3. Im from Bathurst NB.. "Acadie-Bathurst, Titans", Memorial Cup fan. I shared your picture to my friends… Hockey Night in the WORLD!

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