NBA to Increase China Cooperation, Considering Morning Games

The National Basketball Assn. is considering rescheduling some marquee basketball games in order to grow audiences in China.

The possible move emerged as the organization unveiled a multi-year partnership with China’s Ministry of Education to develop sports educational in China.

The education deal is expected to provide enhanced fitness and basketball training to at least 3 million school and college students by 2017.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the partnership will help “our long-standing commitment with the Chinese Basketball Assn. to grow the game in China.”

Late last week Silver said the NBA is considering playing some U.S. East Coast games in the morning, rather than the usual evening slots, in order to screen them live in China, which is seen as one of the sport’s biggest growth markets.

“I think it will make sense to play some of our games in the East Coast in the morning, so that viewers in China can watch those games in primetime,” Silver said last week. The possible move was endorsed by former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming.

The NBA has relationships with several TV and digital media outlets in China, including a partnership of more than 25 years with national broadcaster CCTV. The league has played 18 games in China since 2004 and NBA China employs 115 people in four offices (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei) in the Greater China region.

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