Blue Jays to air on Omni in third language

The Saturday games will be aired in Tagalog throughout the summer.

For the first time, a Toronto Blue Jays game will air on television in Canada in a language other than French or English.

Independent broadcaster Omni Television has added a roster of Blue Jays games in Tagalog this summer. Home-and-away games will air every Saturday, using Sportsnet’s feed. On-air talent and the date of the first broadcast will be announced at a later date.

The weekly broadcast will air on Omni.2, Omni B.C., Omni Alberta and Omni Regional.

Sports have played a growing part in the expansion of Omni’s multilingual and multicultural platform. Four years ago, Omni began offering Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition in an effort to open the broadcasts up to new audiences.

Tagalog is spoken mainly in the Philippines by approximately one quarter of the population. Approximately 70 million people worldwide speak the language, with 25 million identifying as native speakers, according to the 2015 Ethnologue edition. Last year, Tagalog was identified as Canada’s fastest-growing language by Statistics Canada. More than 50,000 Filipinos became permanent residents of Canada in 2015, pushing the rates of those speaking Tagalog at home up by 35% since the last census. Currently, an estimated 525,000 Canadians speak Tagalog at home and is among the six most-reported languages in the country.