Basketball bounces o’seas

NBA to be in 215 countries

More foreign telecasters are set to follow the exploits of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and their high-flying peers, ballooning the National Basketball Assn.’s reach to 215 countries in 41 languages through 188 worldwide TV distributors.

Of the newcomers, 19 come from China, bolstering an extension of the NBA’s partnership with CCTV, the country’s national TV network.

“The relationship between CCTV and the NBA,” said sports programming topper Jiang Heping in a prepared statement, “has grown from a tape-delayed broadcast of the 1987 NBA All-Star Game to our current lineup of four live NBA games a week,” plus locally produced magazine show “Hoopark.”

The NBA will see more coverage from Sky Italia and Sport Italia, particularly of the Toronto Raptors, which made the Italian native Andrea Bargnani its first draft pick in June.

In addition to the telecasters from China, the NBA has struck deals with outlets in Argentina, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Romania and Taiwan.

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