Jean La Rose says he hopes to hear more cries of “kociw osihew, pihtokwahew!” – Cree for “he shoots, he scores” – across the country.
More details of APTN’s three-year deal with Rogers were released Monday that will see a minimum of six Cree-language NHL games broadcast on the network each season.
The deal expands on a partnership that saw APTN make history on Mar. 24 when it aired the first-ever NHL game with Plains Cree commentary and play-by-play.
“By teaming up with Sportsnet and broadcasting more games in Plains Cree, we can connect with Canadian hockey fans and share the beauty of Indigenous languages and cultures,” said La Rose, outgoing CEO of APTN, in a release.
The inaugural Cree-language broadcast of the 2019-20 NHL season will feature the Winnipeg Jets vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Sunday, Jan. 19, followed by:
- Sunday, Feb. 9 – Winnipeg Jets vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT)
- Sunday, Feb. 23 – Calgary Flames vs. Detroit Red Wings (6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT)
- Sunday, Mar. 1 – Vancouver Canucks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (6:30 p.m. Et / 3:30 p.m. PT)
- Sunday, Mar. 15 – Winnipeg Jets vs. Vancouver Canucks (7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT)
- Sunday, Mar. 29 – Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers (7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT)
Sportsnet will continue to deliver the broadcast production, while the studio team will be the same that helmed the Mar. 24 game, including Saskatchewan broadcaster Clarence Iron on play-by-play, JUNO award-winning musician Earl Wood as studio host, Cree-language promoter Jason Chamakese as in-studio panelist, and game analysis from NHL alum John Chabot.
“Last year we partnered with APTN to deliver the first ever NHL game in Plains Cree and saw first-hand the positive impact it had uniting hockey fans across the country,” said Rob Corte, Vice President, Sportsnet & NHL Productions. “We know that Canada’s Indigenous communities have a great passion for hockey and we are excited to grow our partnership with APTN to deliver more games over the next three years.”
This season’s Cree-language broadcast schedule will also feature a Rogers Hometown Hockey stop at Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation on Mar. 1.
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