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League to offer large slate of TV games in China and hold US in-arena parties
The National Basketball Association will pay tribute to its Chinese fans by hosting its largest international tribute ever with the NBA Chinese New Year Celebration from Feb 8-15 (Beijing time).
The league will usher in the Year of the Snake with a record 23 live games televised and streamed in China over eight consecutive days. Five NBA teams will host in-arena Chinese New Year-themed celebrations and two additional teams will have signage recognizing the holiday.
The inaugural NBA Chinese New Year Celebration last year featured 21 live games and two in-arena celebrations, reaching 96 million viewers. This year, the program has expanded with more games, events and teams participating.
"Chinese New Year is the most important festival for our fans in China, and we are happy to once again celebrate with them and their families," said David Shoemaker, CEO of NBA China. "Thanks to the support of our great partners, we are celebrating the Year of the Snake with more NBA programming than ever before and a comprehensive array of Chinese New Year-themed fan activities in China and the US."
This year's expanded schedule will feature live games and coverage of in-arena celebrations on CCTV 5, BTV, CBN Ningxia Satellite TV, GDTV, Fujian TV, Sina, Tencent, ESS Taiwan, Elta Taiwan, Videoland Taiwan and Now TV Hong Kong. Fans in China will have the chance to watch doubleheaders on CCTV 5 on Feb 13, 14 and 15, headlined by a rematch of the 2012 NBA Finals when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Miami Heat on Feb 15.
Former NBA player Peja Stojakovic will tip off the festivities on Feb 8 by hosting a viewing party in Beijing for the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers game. In addition, through an online promotion, one Chinese fan will win the chance to host Stojakovic for a traditional Chinese New Year's Eve dinner with family and friends.
The in-arena celebrations tip off on Feb 9 in Washington, Beijing's sister city, when the Washington Wizards host the Brooklyn Nets. The other teams hosting in-arena celebrations include the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers will also have in-arena signage recognizing the holiday.
Fans in attendance at the in-arena celebrations will experience a variety of activities paying tribute to Chinese culture, including food, live performances and entertainment.
All 24 NBA teams playing on Feb 9 will wear Chinese New Year warm-up shirts.
The limited-edition shirts will be available to fans worldwide at NBAStore.com and in China at nba.TMall.com.
On Feb 13, when the Golden State Warriors host the Houston Rockets, NBA Entertainment will produce a live feed dedicated to capturing the in-arena celebrations, events and activities which will air on CCTV. Throughout the week, the NBA will conduct a series of online and social media promotions to engage its millions of fans.
Fans will be able to participate in daily contests on the NBA official micro blogs on Sina and Tencent for the chance to win NBA prizes.
(China Daily 01/31/2013 page23)