SBD/December 7, 2011/Media

The CBC Restarting Punjabi-Language "Hockey Night In Canada" Broadcasts

The CBC announced yesterday that after two cancellations, "Hockey Night In Canada" will "restart its Punjabi-language hockey broadcasts this week after finding a sponsor in Chevrolet," according to Chris Zelkovich of the TORONTO STAR. While the Punjabi community "launched an online Facebook campaign that may have played a role in resurrecting the show last year, this time they used phone calls and emails." CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson said that the community's comments "played a role, though the network has always known the value of airing games in Punjabi." He said, "We never gave up looking for a sponsor." Thompson added that "without a sponsor the show would be too costly." Zelkovich notes the CBC will carry Punjabi broadcasts "every Saturday night" starting with a doubleheader this weekend, as well as "one series per playoff round" (TORONTO STAR, 12/7). Play-by-play announcer Harnarayan Singh said, "It's been quite a ride but we're ecstatic to be back on the air. ... I'm really amazed how passionate the south Asian community is about the show" (TORONTO SUN, 12/7).

INCREASED RATINGS: Through the first two months of the NHL season, unique visitors to NHL.com are up 17% over last season's record numbers. Video starts have increased 45%, while page views are up 8% and articles read are up 27%. Through November, NHL Mobile web saw page views increase 93% year-over-year with Canada up 73%, the U.S. up 39% and outside of North America up 357%. Also through November, the league experienced a 5.2% increase in its social communities, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare (NHL).
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