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Edmonton Elks and BC Lions Unite to Present CFL’s First Punjabi Broadcast: A Historic Milestone in Canadian Football

In a landmark announcement, the Edmonton Elks and BC Lions have partnered to create a broadcasting first in the Canadian Football League (CFL). In an effort to extend their reach and bring the game closer to a wider demographic, the two teams will present the CFL’s first-ever Punjabi broadcast this Saturday.

The Edmonton Elks and Sher-E-Punjab Radio AM 600 in Richmond will carry the groundbreaking Punjabi language commentary during the match between the Elks and the BC Lions. The match, scheduled for 4:00 pm Pacific Time, represents a significant stride forward in making football more accessible to diverse fan bases.

Originating on Edmonton’s My Radio 580, the Punjabi broadcast will feature Harpreet Pandher and Taqdeer Thindal. Known for their work on Hockey Night In Canada Punjabi, the duo is well-equipped to deliver a compelling broadcast for Punjabi-speaking fans.

Pandher, a native of the lower mainland, is no stranger to football, with his first Lions memory being a 1986 game against Edmonton. Meanwhile, Thindal, who attended his first Lions game in 1999, has been part of the Hockey Night In Canada Punjabi crew since 2015.

“This will be a historic moment for Canada connecting a game that is a part of Canadian roots with a growing South Asian community that is so passionate about Canadian sports,” Thindal said.

Elks President and CEO Victor Cui echoed Thindal’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity in the CFL. “July 29th will be another example of how we’re working as a Club to make football a welcoming place for all fans, including through the comfort of hearing the game in their first language,” Cui said.

With over a million Punjabi-speaking residents in Canada, and a strong community in Alberta and British Columbia, this groundbreaking broadcast initiative is expected to significantly enhance the CFL’s footprint. By speaking to fans in their own language, the Elks and the Lions are embracing their diverse fan bases, opening the door for new supporters, and creating a more inclusive football environment.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the Edmonton Elks have made broadcasting history. Last season, they partnered with Windspeaker Media to deliver the first Indigenous language broadcast in CFL history during a game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Emphasizing the momentous occasion, Pandher expressed his anticipation: “Much like the Elks’ Cree broadcast last year, this one will be successful, and I know Punjabis will embrace it. This broadcast is a great way to draw new fans in and grow the game with the community.”

Indeed, this historic initiative is set to write a new chapter in the CFL’s history and further cement Canadian football’s position in the heart of diverse communities across Canada. As the sport continues to grow and evolve, efforts like these will be instrumental in ensuring football truly is a game for everyone.

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Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018.
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