NBA pushes into India with big media deal
MUMBAI – The National Basketball Association (NBA) said Tuesday it was hoping to win more fans in India through a partnership with the country’s largest media company as it seeks to replicate its success in China.
The NBA has tied up with Times Group to provide news, scores, videos, photos and other content from the basketball league on the flagship Times of India newspaper’s website, www.timesofindia.com.
The league reaches its climax with Dallas Mavericks taking on Miami Heat in the start of the title series. Indian journalists will cover the games for the new venture, the NBA said in an emailed statement.
The game will also be broadcast live on Indian television from 6:30am (0100 GMT) Wednesday, according to the Ten Sports channel schedule.
The league’s own website already has a dedicated page for India and a number of other countries, including China, where an aggressive marketing push in recent years has helped make basketball popular with a huge fan base.
NBA International president Heidi Ueberroth said the move would help to “showcase our game and engage more NBA fans throughout the country”.
More than 12 million users are expected to see dedicated basketball coverage every month, the statement said.
Current and former NBA and Women’s NBA stars have visited India to help promote the game and coach children, with officials convinced that future talent will emerge from the country’s 1.2 billion people.
It is also involved with India’s largest multi-city basketball league, which this year involves some 6,000 players from 13-year-olds to adults in five cities.