The sport of soccer is widely regarded as the world’s game. Here in Vancouver, you’ll find people from an extensive variety of backgrounds uniting for a common cause, to cheer on Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Supporters have sprung up throughout the stadium representing a large number of nationalities, and on any given match day you’ll find media covering the team in as many as six different languages at Empire Field. This Saturday against FC Dallas, fans can get a taste of Whitecaps FC action in one of those languages, as OMNI Television British Columbia broadcasts the match in Cantonese.
This will be the first time that the ‘Caps host a multilingual MLS broadcast, with Saturday's game being the first match to be broadcast in Cantonese in MLS history. As part of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, OMNI BC will feature two matches this season in conjunction with Rogers Sportsnet’s English-language broadcasts. In addition to this weekend's match being available in Cantonese, the July 16 home match against Real Salt Lake at Empire Field will be broadcast in Punjabi.
“It illustrates the global reach of the sport,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “It also highlights the level of interest that there is in Whitecaps FC and the willingness to branch out and have our games available in languages other than English.”
OMNI BC, which features programming in 25 different languages, is excited about the growth of soccer in the province and happy to team with Whitecaps FC to cater to the diverse local fan base. "The Lower Mainland's population has deep roots in global culture," said Renato Zane, vice president and general manager of OMNI BC. "Soccer is the world's most popular sport, so there is a natural connection between OMNI's viewers and the Whitecaps.
"BC has some of the most passionate and skilled soccer players in the country,” he added. “This is an exciting time for our viewers. Vancouver's entry into MLS is providing a big boost for the sport and for the development of homegrown talent."
Fans can watch OMNI's Cantonese broadcast beginning at 4 p.m. PT on Saturday. Golden Kong will be doing the play-by-play, while Charles Yuen will serve as colour commentator. Fiona Law and TK Wu will conduct in-studio analysis.
OMNI BC is available on Bell TV (channel 254), Shaw Cable (SD channel 8 and HD channel 213 in Vancouver), and Telus (SD channel 8 and HD channel 629 in Vancouver).