Fans from various backgrounds, speaking a multitude of languages, gather at Empire Field to take in each Vancouver Whitecaps FC match. Media also cover the team in as many as six different languages. This demonstrates the wide reach and rising popularity of the sport in the province of British Columbia and the importance of broadcasting Whitecaps FC matches in various languages.
OMNI Television in BC, part of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, will host the first-ever Punjabi broadcast of an MLS match on Saturday when Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on Real Salt Lake at Empire Field at 1 p.m. PT. This broadcast follows OMNI Television British Columbia’s Cantonese broadcast on April 23 when Whitecaps FC took on FC Dallas.
“This is a unique opportunity for Punjabi speaking fans to experience Whitecaps FC action,” said Bob Lenarduzzi, Whitecaps FC president. “We hope that through these broadcasts we will be able to garner even more support for the sport and for the team.”
OMNI Television in BC, features programming in 22 different languages and is excited to bring fans the opportunity to view Whitecaps FC action in Punjabi. “Soccer is the sport most played by Indo-Canadian youth,” said Renato Zane, General Manager Citytv and OMNI Television, BC. “The sheer number of Indo-Canadians who attend Vancouver Whitecaps FC games points to the fact that soccer is not only popular in the community, but that the popularity of the sport continues to grow. This first of its kind broadcast will be viewed by people young and old in a language that they understand fluently and will usher in a new period of history of Indo-Canadian involvement in BC’s soccer scene.”
Fans can watch OMNI's Punjabi broadcast beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT on Saturday. Bhupinder Hundal will provide the play-by-play, while Randip Janda will handle the analysis in Punjabi. The live broadcast will be hosted by Jasdip Wahla, OMNI News: Punjabi Edition’s Anchor, and local soccer analysts Nav Badyal and Parm Bains.
OMNI Television in 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).