Canada's OMNI Television Chooses Knicks-Raptors For First Basketball Game In Mandarin
Canada-based OMNI Television said that it would "broadcast its first full basketball game this Friday in Mandarin when the Raptors play the Knicks," according to Ashante Infantry of the TORONTO STAR. Sports coverage is "nothing new to the multilingual broadcaster which is an official broadcast partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but this is the first time it has offered play-by-play coverage of an NBA game in any language." Former Chinese national basketball team player and bilingual basketball commentator Weiping Zhang will call the game. OMNI National VP Madeline Zinak said that the initiative is the "evolution of ongoing collaborations with Raptors owners Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment who are always 'trying to garner enthusiasm in ethnocultural communities for their sports franchises'" (TORONTO STAR, 3/20). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Etan Vlessing noted Canada in "recent decades has enjoyed a steady stream of Chinese immigrants, leading to advertisers targeting growing Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking TV audiences in Toronto and Vancouver" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 3/19).