Hockey Is For Everyone, and the LA Kings are making strides towards welcoming more Spanish-speaking fans into the fold. 10 of their home games will be broadcast this season on ESPN Deportes 1330 Los Angeles KWKW-AM. The broadcast crews will be announced at a later date.
“As our game grows it is important we continue to reach as many fans as possible and this new partnership with ESPN Deportes is a tremendous opportunity to help introduce hockey to a new audience,” Kings President Luc Robitaille said in a statement. “I was a player with the Kings when we broadcast games in Spanish. It is exciting to have this opportunity again.”
Los Angeles joins Chicago, Florida and Vegas as teams that have recently added Spanish-speaking broadcasts. Though the Panthers had broadcast games in Spanish during their early days at Miami Arena, this trend had taken on new momentum in recent seasons. After broadcasting games in Spanish from 1993-96, Florida reintroduced Spanish broadcasts with a handful of games in 2014-15 before committing to an entire home schedule in 2015-16. The Panthers did not air any games in Spanish in 2017-18.
Chicago increased its number of Spanish broadcasts in 2016-17 after a test run the year prior. Last year, all Vegas playoff games were broadcast on ESPN Deportes 1460 AM after a handful of regular season games were carried with a Spanish broadcast.
North of the border, Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi broadcasts gained instant appreciation during Harnarayan Singh’s famous calls of Nick Bonino goals through the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Similar to the Kings, Blackhawks, Panthers and Golden Knights’ efforts to reach out to a wider share of their markets, the Hockey Night In Canada Punjabi broadcasts help broadcast hockey to a larger swath of Canadian fans, particularly in the Vancouver market.
The Kings last hosted Spanish broadcasts in 1997-98. The first broadcast will take place on November 1 when the Kings host the Philadelphia Flyers during Dia De Los Muertos Night night at Staples Center. Previously, efforts to reach more of its Latino fanbase were represented in the partnership with Mister Cartoon, who meshed hockey art and street culture with a creative line of art and merchandise in 2013-14, as well as a partnership with L.A. non-profit Para Los Ninos. The team continues to focus its community endeavors in diverse neighborhoods across Los Angeles, a county in which 48.6% of residents identify as Hispanic or Latino.
“We are all extremely excited here at KWKW – from programming, to sales, to management…everyone,” Thor Nelson, the station’s General Sales Manager, said in a statement. “To have an opportunity to be a part of something from the ground level and build it into something special in today’s competitive sports landscape is truly amazing. The partnership with the Kings is equally amazing, and together we are going to invite and entertain the Hispanic community into the LA Kings Hockey world, through live on-air broadcasts as well as community outreach and activations. It’s perfect. Go Kings Go!”
LA Kings Spanish Broadcasts:
Thursday, November 1, vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 24, vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 6, vs. New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 29, vs. Vegas, 1 p.m.
Saturday, January 12, vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 16, vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 28, vs. Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 10, at Anaheim, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 23, vs. Anaheim, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 6, vs. Vegas, 7:30 p.m.