In my last blog, I talked about the influence that Hispanics have played in the NFL, which led me to inquire about the Hispanic influence in the NHL, the National Hockey League. As it turns out, Hockey does not possess the type of Hispanic-based audience that Football or Basketball have, but that has changed in recent years. There are to date five Hispanic countries that already have a Hockey league in either the national and/or international levels. The list, which is led by Spain, includes Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia as its newest member.
Here in the US, the shift towards a Hispanic-based audience has been evident as well. The Florida Panthers, for example, announced in October of last year that they would broadcast three of their 2014‒2015 season games through Hispanic radio stations in the state of Florida. In November of the same year the Florida Panthers announced that the response to the three initial broadcasts exceeded their expectations, which has caused the CEO and president of the team to announce that for the 2014‒2015 season, every Florida Panthers game will be radio broadcasted in the state through Hispanic radio stations.
Not long after that event, the Florida Panthers announced that besides the radio broadcasting of the games, ESPN Deportes would broadcast a few, but not all of the Florida Panthers games, and all games would start to be streamed in Spanish at 1210espndeportes.com. Another announcement followed by Fox Sports Florida, who will start airing all Hockey games in Spanish as well. Seems that the Florida Panthers have started a trend which has opened the eyes of all the major sports networks into the probability, a very high probability at that, of the Hispanic influence that has awaken and is taking the world of Hockey by surprise, influence that can be a great opportunity, both in the lucrative and cultural factors.