UA-74833448-1 From The Ice – To The Street –

From The Ice – To The Street

Although the show is no longer government funded through CBC, the connection Canadians have towards it continues to be stronger than ever.

The CBC helped its viewers connect even more to the game they love when they launched their “Play-On 4 on 4” nation-wide street hockey tournament.

The tournament was highly successful with many participants of all ages and skill levels.

As more Canadians became interested in joining these tournaments, the demand for more of them rose.

Unfortunately the high demand came at the same time that the federal government cut the CBC’s funding and CBC loss of its hockey rights to Rogers.

With all of these detractors, CBC was forced to cancel “Play-On” in 2018 as they were unable to find the three million dollars needed to organize such an event.

CBC’s efforts to reach out to Canadians were successful but unfortunately had to be canceled, and it will be interesting to see whether the cancellation of “Play-On” will have any effect on the countries attachment to Hockey Night.

It has been a smart move for the CBC to seize its position as the nation’s most valued broadcast, and with its current setup it could continue to hold that role for many years to come.

As the network has embraced their role in society, they have expanded their targeted audience. In 2008, the CBC began to broadcast games in different languages.

While the first foreign language broadcasts only happened during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it has expanded greatly in recent years with Hockey Night now being regularly broadcast in Punjabi on Saturdays.

The Punjabi community has identified with hockey the most of any immigrant group, leading the CBC to start broadcasting Saturday night games in Punjabi.

Harnarayan Singh; the host of HNIC Punjabi says “When you’re new to a place, you’re looking for things that you can find as common ground with people, and one of those things is hockey.”

It isn’t the first time hockey has united the country.

In 1972 when Canada was healing from the FLQ crisis, the Summit Series VS the Soviet Union was the first time a team “Canada” competed; with French and Canadian players coming together, it brought both parties together for the first time.

Although the CBC does not run the show anymore, Hockey Night in Canada remains a unifying facet of Canadian Society.  

Canada’s reluctance to a re-branded HNIC shows the connection Canadians have to tradition, and what a simple TV show can mean to a country.

Through community efforts such as “Play-On” and outreaches like the Punjabi broadcasts; the show has become more important to Canadians than ever before

The benefits of HNIC as a national identifier are quite clear.

Throughout Canadian history the CBC has unified Canadians, and as the “Canadian demographic” changes the CBC has found a way to stay relevant.

Through HNIC different communities have been able to come together and keep patriotic feelings that resonates through everyday life, even away from sport.

Great read and thanks to Ben for the article