For Canadians, hockey is more than a sport. It's in the fabric of our culture, tradition and identity.
For the approximately 350,000 people who are new to Canada each year, hockey can be a way to forge new connections within their communities – but learning the sport can be a challenge.
That's why, for the first time in Hockey Night in Canada's more than 60-year history, Sportsnet and Molson Canadian have partnered to present Canada's national pastime in seven additional languages.
On April 24, two games – the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Winnipeg Jets (7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT) and Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) – will be streamed in some of Canada's most commonly spoken languages – Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Vietnamese, Tagalog, German and Arabic – in addition to the weekly English, French and Punjabi broadcasts. Anyone interested in watching can do so on sportsnet.ca/Molson.
"Canada is among the most multicultural nations in the world, and what an incredible thing it could be to intersect the pride we have in our country’s game with the pride we have in the diversity of its people,” said Joy Ghosh, Senior Brand Director for the Molson family of brands. “As Canada’s oldest brewery, connecting people over a beer for 235 years and being a decades-long supporter of hockey, we’re excited to make something so special happen on [April 24].”
The seven languages selected are the most commonly spoken in each Canadian city with an associated NHL team and represent a mosaic of current and prospective hockey fans coast to coast.
“As a partner, Molson’s vision for continued inclusivity in hockey is the perfect match with Sportsnet’s mandate to use our media megaphone to amplify the voices of Canadians that are not always heard with equal measure,” said Anthony Attard, Vice-President, Sports and NHL Sales, Sportsnet. “This initiative is a great step in bringing hockey into the homes of more Canadians and doing so in a way that is personalized, accessible and unique.”
This special broadcast will be made possible by a partnership with Spalk, using their unique virtual sportscasting studio and talent marketplace to provide the required technology and experienced commentators from around the globe needed to customize the viewing experience for each individual language.
“Molson Canadian encourages the notion of community and togetherness,” Ghosh added. “Just last summer, we partnered with 32 fellow Canadian-founded brewers to join our 24-case to create the Most Canadian Case ever. And now, by presenting Hockey Night in Canada like it’s never been seen before, we can connect millions more people to hockey through language. When it comes to our national sport, we believe that anyone and everyone should be able to Rep our Home.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published on April 14 but has been updated to reflect information for the April 24 broadcasts.