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Jeremy Lin Linsanity Prompts Canada's First All-Mandarin NBA Telecast

Jeremy Lin Scoring New Jersey Nets - P 2012
Natheniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

The New York Knicks playing the Raptors Friday night in Toronto has Omni Television hiring veteran basketball commentator Weiping Zhang to provide play-by-play.

TORONTO – Linsanity has caught on in Canada.

Canadian broadcaster Omni Television has hired former Chinese national basketball team player and basketball commentator Weiping Zhang to call its first-ever NBA game in the Mandarin language when Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks play the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

“The level of enthusiasm for Jeremy Lin from the Chinese and Taiwanese communities has been extraordinary over the past month, and it’s clear that his Cinderella story and stellar performances are inspiring youth in these communities across Canada,” Madeline Zinak, national vp of Omni Television, said Monday as her network taps into Linsanity to broaden its Mandarin-language TV audience in Vancouver and Toronto.

Canada in recent decades has enjoyed a steady stream of Chinese immigrants, leading to advertisers targetting growing Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking TV audiences in Toronto and Vancouver.