NBA Finals to Reach Record Worldwide Audience
Posted Jun 6 2007 7:41PM
NEW YORK, June 6, 2007 -- When the San Antonio Spurs tip off against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, June 7, a record 128 television broadcasters, will provide coverage of the 2007 NBA Finals for a growing NBA fan base around the world. This breaks last year's record of 112 telecasters. Overall, fans in 205 countries and territories will be watching in 46 languages.
Also, more than 250 international media from 23 countries and territories will converge in San Antonio and Cleveland to bring the action back to fans around the world. There will be 36 television and radio networks and websites on-site including 20 who will be in commentary positions.
For the first time a TV station from the Middle East (ART - based in Jordan) is sending a commentary team to cover the NBA Finals live in Arabic for NBA fans throughout the Middle East. Other NBA television partners coming on-site to provide live coverage for the first time are from Albania (Telesport), Argentina (Canal 7), Bosnia (OBN) and Brazil (TV Esporte Interativo).
"The NBA Finals is no longer just an American event, it is worldwide. We at Arab Radio and Television (ART) are very excited to bring the NBA to our neck of the woods,” said Mustapha Tell, ART Head of Sports. “While we have been showing NBA games on ART for years, this year for the first time we are attending the game and are right in the middle of it all and can share that excitement with our viewers.”
"OBN TV is broadcasting The Finals live and Bosnian fans are thrilled to have the opportunity to watch the best basketball league in the world on their TV screens,” said Mirza Vilic, Executive Director, OBN TV, Bosnia. "The NBA Finals promises to be very exciting and OBN is proud to broadcast all seven games live, in addition to being on-site at The Finals for the first time.”
A record nine international players will be competing in The Finals and there will be television coverage in all of the players home countries. The San Antonio Spurs have six international players: Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Francisco Elson (Netherlands), Manu Ginobili (Argentina), Fabricio Oberto (Argentina), Tony Parker (France) and Beno Udrih (Slovenia). The Cleveland Cavaliers have three international players: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuania), Aleksandar Pavlovic (Montenegro) and Anderson Varejao (Brazil).
Eleven international NBA television shows will shoot behind the scenes at The Finals, up from five last year, including Hoopark (China, CCTV), NBA Lin Ju Li (China, GDTV-Guangdong), NBA Zhi Zao (China, 32 telecasters), NBA Magazine (NHK, Japan), NBA Jam (RPN, Philippines), Basketball Tonight (ESPN Star Sports Taiwan, Pan Asia), NBA Time and American Dream (Canal+, France), Espanoles NBA (Canal+ Spain) and NBA Timeout (US, AZN Television). NBA.com/China will also be on-site to capture video for daily videoblogs.
NBA team rosters featured a record 85 international players, approximately 20% of the NBA, from 37 countries and territories at the end of the 2006-07 season. When the 2007 NBA Playoffs tipped-off, a record 60 international players from 28 countries and territories were on Playoff rosters.
Along with recent MVP winners such as Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Phoenix’s Steve Nash (Canada) and San Antonio's Duncan, players such as, Chicago’s Andres Nocioni (Argentina) and Luol Deng (England), Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao (Brazil) and Aleksandar “Sasha” Pavlovic (Montenegro) and Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) made significant contributions during the Playoffs and helped make this a coming out year for a number of international players.
NBA.com continues to reach more fans around the world than ever. Among English language sports league Web sites, NBA.com draws the greatest number of users outside the United States with more than 50% of traffic to the site coming from outside the U.S. The Finals will be no different as NBA fans can log on to NBA.com and listen to live audio of the games in 15 languages: English, Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog.
The NBA was the first U.S. professional sports league to offer live, language specific web casts internationally. In the NBA’s continued quest to utilize technology to reach NBA fans through new media platforms, The Finals will be available via live web casts to fans in Brazil in Portuguese, courtesy of NBA partner Globo.com. The NBA Finals will also be available on a live streaming basis to 20 international markets via NBA.com/broadband.