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SBD Global/December 12, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Continues To Promote Game In China, Making It League's Top Overseas Market

NBA Commissioner David Stern "flew to Beijing to ask state broadcaster China Central Television to air video clips of basketball games" in '87, according to Shen Jingting of the CHINA DAILY. Stern "promised to offer content for free," as long as CCTV agreed to open a window to the many Chinese viewers who "hadn't previously enjoyed watching professional basketball competitions." Since then, the NBA "has gone from one success to another in China, astonishing many industry observers and even Stern himself." China "has become the NBA's biggest overseas market, with more than 300 million basketball fans and followers." Now, the association is "aiming to turn its basket of businesses into real money." NBA China CEO David Shoemaker said that the company has "achieved double-digit growth every year since it was established in 2008." Shoemaker: "We believe NBA China will maintain that momentum in the foreseeable future." The league has "sensed a new gold mine in China's huge mobile population." China has more than 1.2 billion mobile subscribers, and it has "emerged as the world's biggest smartphone market." Shoemaker: "It's not a crisis but an opportunity as more young people turn to the digital and mobile world." If the NBA "jumps on the mobile bandwagon, the league is likely to attract more young fans and broaden its audience in China" (CHINA DAILY, 12/11).
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