Tuesday, February 14, 2012


FIRST PLAY-by-PLAY COMPLETE

HOCKEY BROADCAST in the WORLD


Most people said that Foster Hewitt was the first to ever broadcast a hockey game. Hewitt broadcast an amateur hockey game March 22, 1923, but Pete Parker broadcast the first professional game eight days earlier on Regina Radio Station CKCK.

The following was taken from the Regina Leader-Post, March 14, 1972, by Sports Writer, Ron Campbell.

"It was March 15, 1923, the radio listeners in this area were surprised to hear the first complete professional hockey game ever broadcast in Canada. The broadcast originated from the Stadium and was carried by CKCK radio on Hamilton Street. At the time it was operated as part of the Morning Leader, with a studio on the fifth floor of the Leader-Post building.

(Photo: Sketch by William P. Argan)

Calling the play-by-play that night was L.D. "Pete" Parker who was visiting the city as part of the radio station's 50th Anniversary observances being held that year. "It was just an experiment" said Pete, recalling that fabulous night. "Bert Hooper was the whole radio department at that time. He did everything, broadcasting and engineering. Bert was always looking for something new as far as broadcasting was concerned and, while I had done some, I guess the main reason why he asked me to do the play-by-play was because I had always been a real hockey nut" said Pete.

"It was the first game of the Western Canada Hockey League play-offs between Edmonton Eskimos and Regina Caps leading to the Stanley Cup. The broadcast went off pretty well and caught all of our listeners by surprise."

Pete called the game from high in the rafters on the west side of the Stadium where the present broadcast booth is located; however, a special closed-in box was built to house Pete and he used a cradle-type telephone and an amplifier.

There were no extra microphones in those days so Bert arranged to have an extension run from the regular telephone in the Stadium to his broadcast booth. The booth was just large enough for Pete and his equipment. The front was covered with a sheet of celluloid which Pete lifted out of the way to get a crowd noise when any exciting plays occurred.

"There was no between-period broadcasting. When the period was over I would pick up the receiver, listen for a cue from Bert, and then tell the listeners that the broadcast was returning to announcer in our studio." stated Pete.

Pete may also be the first to broadcast a Junior game report on a west semi-final play-off game with Regina Monarchs (made up of Regina Pats and Falcons) against Blairmore, Alberta. The game was broadcast over CKCK radio from the Regina Exhibition Stadium, March 10, 1928.