Warriors Investor Ranadivé Sees India As Next Big Growth Market For NBA
Warriors Vice Chair Vivek Ranadivé believes India "could be the new China" for the NBA, according to Peter Vanham of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Ranadivé said, "Basketball has everything to succeed in India: it can be played everywhere, by everyone, and it has star power. Worldwide, basketball will be the soccer of the 21st century." NBA Commissioner David Stern said that revenue from China has been "steadily rising in recent years and could hit as much" as $150M this year. Ranadivé believes a "similar evolution could take place in India." He said, "The numbers in India could be staggering." Ranadivé added that growth in India and "other emerging markets could help double or triple NBA's current revenue" of $5B in the years to come. Vanham wrote one sign of the NBA's "rising popularity in India was when Sony signed a new exclusive broadcast deal" reportedly worth around $1M last fall. That figure was "up from $100,000 to $300,000 in previous years." But without an Indian player in the NBA, the "biggest question is whether the sport can really catch fire in India." It is "fair to say that the NBA would probably be nowhere as popular in China today if Chinese players such as Yao Ming -- and more recently the Taiwanese-American Jeremy Lin -- were not part of the league" (FT.com, 3/20).