SAN ANTONIO, June 3, 2003
– When the San Antonio Spurs take on the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday, June 4 to tip off the NBA Finals 2003, fans from every corner of the globe will be able to tune in to watch the very best in basketball on a truly global stage.
The NBA Finals will reach fans in 205 countries and territories through 96 telecasters, who will broadcast in 36 different languages, including Icelandic, Creole, Hindi, Tagalog and Thai. Each game will reach more than 3.1 billion people around the world through NBA Entertainment's television, Internet, film and digital technology.
“The NBA Finals will once again be a global event featuring players from all over the world,” said Scott Levy, Vice-President, NBA International Television and Marketing Partnerships. “The games will captivate fans worldwide with unprecedented coverage through our network of international broadcasters.”
NBA team rosters featured a record 65 international players from 34 countries and territories for the 2002-03 season. NBA games and programming are televised to every country represented by an international player.
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Manu Ginobili (Argentina), Tony Parker (France) and New Jersey’s Dikembe Mutombo (Congo) will represent the NBA’s international contingent at the NBA Finals. This will mark the first trip to the Finals for both Parker and Ginobili. The Spurs’ Mengke Bateer (China) is not on the active roster.
More than 190 international media members will travel from overseas to capture the action live in both San Antonio and New Jersey. There will be 37 international telecasters and a record nine customized NBA programs on-site to cover the NBA Finals. Several broadcasters, including: CCTV (China), Canal + (France), TV Azteca (Mexico) and ESPN Star Sports (Pan-Asia), who have had long-standing relationships with the league, will be providing live on-site commentary.
International players like Tony Parker, who was born in Belgium and raised in Paris, France, grew up watching the international telecasts of the NBA and now feature coverage of his NBA career. Parker first watched the NBA on Canal+France, a NBA broadcast partner since 1986. George Eddy, the station’s star color commentator, has interviewed former NBA All-Stars such as Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and now has also interviewed Parker and the other French players in the league.
"This is a historic moment in French basketball history, for the NBA and for Canal +,” said Eddy. “Before it was Michael Jordan, who made the NBA popular in France, now we are entering into a new era with Tony. But it isn’t simply because he is French that it is so exceptional, but because he is the youngest point guard since Magic Johnson to have such a pivotal role on an NBA team. What adds extra spice to these Finals is the duel between Tony and Jason Kidd.”
The following international broadcasters, including a record eight from China, will televise the NBA Finals for the first time: Sichuan TV, Fujian TV, Liaoning TV, Shaanxi TV, Shandong TV, Tianjin TV, Yunnan TV, Zhejiang TV (all from China), Channel 9 (Argentina), TV Danmark (Denmark), Urheilu TV (Finland), Channel 31 (Kazakhstan), Eagle TV (Mongolia), TVM (Mozambique), Saudi Sports Channel (Saudi Arabia), NTV (Turkey), SkyPerfecTV (Japan), ART (Pan-Middle East), PTA (Armenia), and Televen (Venezuela).
NBA.com continues to reach more global fans than ever. Among English-Language sports league Web sites, NBA.com draws the greatest number of users outside the United States with more than 40% of traffic to the site coming from international locations. The NBA Finals will be no different as it will offer complete global coverage with live broadcasts of games in eight languages: Chinese/Mandarin (CCTV), Tagalog (Solar), Hebrew (JCS), French (Canal+ France), German (Premiere), Spanish (Canal+ Spain, TV Azteca), Serbian (B92 TV/ANEM) and English (ABC).
In North America, the NBA Finals 2003 will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN Radio in the United States and on Global Television Network in Canada.