League's avid China fans getting full-court coverage

Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:48pm EST
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By Jahmal Corner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The young 2016-17 NBA season is gaining momentum and the avid audience in China is keeping up and indulging a love affair with basketball through a vastly increased access to game action.

China sports fans have long loved the theatrics of basketball, and this season NBA China has further catered to them by offering a full menu of LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook to their television screens and electronic devices.

Tencent, a digital broadcast partner of the NBA in China, launched League Pass for the first time this year.

The live subscription package features all live NBA games, bringing a boost to the more than 750 million viewers that watched NBA programing on TV in China last year.

In addition, NBA China and Tencent also launched the league's first NBA App in China in April which delivered mobile action to millions of tablets and phones that ensured the NBA will retain its stranglehold on the sports fans of China.

"It's really hard to describe the level of passion and excitement of the Chinese basketball fan," NBA China CEO David Shoemaker told Reuters.

"They are very sophisticated fans. They have followed the history of the game and are familiar with the legends and key figures."

China's appetite for the NBA transcends culture, language and time zone.   Continued...