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Florida Panthers will broadcast some games in Spanish

Florida Panthers will broadcast some games in Spanish

Posted by Liliana Castaño on November 04, 2014

The Florida Panthers have announced that they will be broadcasting three games during the 2014-15 season in Spanish. These broadcasts will be heard on 1210 AM ESPN Deportes in Miami and ESPN Deportes 760 AM in West Palm Beach. Arley Londono will do the play-by-play, while Octavio Sequera will host and handle color.

The Cats are not breaking new ground in this regard, as they were the first NHL team to broadcast in Spanish back in the 1993-94 inaugural season. Unfortunately, the club decided to not continue this practice after 1996.

The Panther's first game broadcasted in Spanish this year was the Hispanic Heritage Night back on October 30th against the Arizona Coyotes in the BB&T Center. The next two games to be broadcasted in Spanish are going to be against the Colorado Avalanche on January 15, and against the Bosto Bruins on March 21.

The decision to start boradcasting games in Spanish again, although limited for now to only three games in its beginning stage, seems to be designed to tap into the evergowing Hispanic market in the southern state. 

The hockey world's most ignorant of supporters, who do not believe that the Hispanic population will embrace the sport in South Florida, let alone the rest of the 29 other markets, are simply wrong. There was a time that Hispanics were just painted as fans of either baseball or soccer, but times have changed along with the country's demographics and the growth of sports programming on the internet. Looking at the inroads the NFL and NBA have made in attracting Hispanic fans, it would be illogical for the NHL and their franchises to concede that potential segment to rival sports. Much like with the push to grow hockey in the Sunbelt, the NHL cannot let an opportunity to capture even a small fraction of the Latino community go to waste.

Think about it this way, South Florida, especially Miami, is known as the "Gateway to Latin America." Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Dominicans, Argentinians, and so much more, all tightly packed inside three counties. The Hispanic population in South Florida as of the 2010 U.S. Census is 2,312,929. That huge number is one that the Panthers have largely ignored for the past eighteen years. In that time frame, the franchise has lost a generation of fans that are or have already spurred on a new generation of people. In that time frame the Marlins, Heat, and Dolphins have all done something to appeal to Latinos. And now, those fans have kids who will grow up as fans of those three teams.

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