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NBA to offer global TV distribution

Thanks to a new initiative, professional basketball games during the 2007-2008 BA season will have the widest media distribution in the league’s history.

This year, NBA games and related programming will be seen on 202 TV networks in 215 countries and 41 languages. This year, 14 of those networks will be airing NBA sporting events for the first time, including CBC (Canada) and TVB Jade and TVB Pearl (Hong Kong).

Renewed partnerships with the NBA include NHK (Japan), Five (UK), SKY and SportItalia (Italy), Premiere (Germany), 7TV (Russia) and Beijing TV (China).

The market in China will grow this year as new fans follow the progress of two Chinese NBA players, Milwaukee Bucks rookie Yi Jianlian and Houston Rockets All-Star Yao Ming. The two will have a second regular season showdown during the Chinese New Year on Feb. 2. It is expected to generate a massive audience.

In Europe, the NBA is launching a new program called NBA 360 that will air in prominent program slots in several European markets and offer highlights from the past weekend. On Nov. 5, the program began to air in Germany (Premiere), the UK (Five), Italy (Sportitalia), Russia (7TV), Hungary (Sport 1) and Slovenia (Sport Klub).