ESPN Invests In NBA China
Disney's ESPN is going in on a US$253 million investment along with Bank of China Group Investment, Legend Holdings Ltd., Li Ka Shing Foundation, and China Merchants Investments to purchase an 11 percent stake in NBA China, reports ESPN.com. NBA China will be governed by a board of directors with representatives from the five companies as well as NBA team owners and business leaders, said the report. Former Microsoft Greater China CEO Tim Chen joined NBA China as CEO in October, 2007. The NBA's Chinese language website makes up one third of the NBA's total web traffic, according to the report. Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU) is an official partner of the NBA's Chinese website operated by Chinese broadband sports portal Nusports.cn. Sohu and Nusports.cn are expected to continue offering live online broadcasts of NBA games in 2008. KongZhong Corporation's (Nasdaq: KONG) Kong.net is the official WAP site partner of the NBA. Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) users searched for "NBA" more than 61 million times in November, 2007. According to the ESPN report, NBA China has offices in Beijing and Shanghai with a new Guangzhou office in the works.
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