SBJ/Dec. 14, 2009/This Week's News

NBA launches India site with live games, highlights

The NBA is rolling out its first digital effort in India with the launch of NBA.com/India, another step in the league’s quest to build its international fan base.

The site, to be launched today, is sponsored by NBA partners HP and Reebok.

“Our fan base is growing in India, and with half of the population under age 25, digital media will be an important way for us to engage our fans,” said Heidi Ueberroth, president of NBA International. “Not only will NBA.com/India provide fans with direct access to NBA games and unique content, it’s also a key vehicle for our partners.”

HP and Reebok are sponsoring the site.

The Web site will include weekly live game broadcasts, video highlights, columns from two India-based NBA reporters and blogs from Los Angeles Clippers guard Baron Davis and Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash. NBA.com/India will also promote weekly live telecasts of NBA games, which are available on ESPN and Star Sports on Friday and Saturday mornings in India, and make available subscriptions to up to 40 games each week on the NBA’s League Pass Broadband.

The new site is an effort to tap into India’s growing interest in basketball.

Since 2008, the NBA has been raising its profile in India with a variety of events, including its Basketball Without Borders initiative, youth clinics, court refurbishments and player visits. The league is planning to open an office in New Delhi sometime next year as it works with the Basketball Federation of India on a grassroots level to expose the game to fans in India.

“India is an important market for the NBA and one where we see significant growth potential for basketball,” Ueberroth said. “The new destination will provide Indian fans a comprehensive experience and keep them informed about their favorite players and teams. In addition, fans will be able to get instructional information about the game on the site.”

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