J-Source: “It’s beyond just any broadcast”

After discovering this scoop, I broke this story on J-Source and then sold an edited copy of it to The Province. It then went national on the Postmedia wire.

Appeared online at J-Source.ca, Oct. 19, 2011

Don Cherry may be dominating hockey headlines but Indo-Canadians are more concerned about the recent cancellation of Hockey Night in Canada’s Punjabi-language broadcast.

“We will not be continuing on with our Punjabi language broadcast this season as we are unable to secure a sponsor,” said CBC spokesperson Chris Ball in an email. In the past, CBC has helped fund the program, but according to Ball this season the network is unable to “offset the production cost for this initiative.”

The Punjabi edition of the popular sports program made hockey accessible to the growing population of Canadians who speak Punjabi – the fourth most spoken language in the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Initially piloted as an experiment during the 2008 Stanley Cup finals, the program quickly became a cultural phenomenon garnering enough support to continue through four seasons.

“Broadcasting games in Punjabi was a great experience that the entire HNIC team was very proud of,” said Ball, “As each broadcast was another opportunity for us to all celebrate two of Canada’s strengths, our cultural diversity and our shared passion for hockey.”

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