This year the NBA will earn $430 million from overseas sales of which $250 million will come from media distribution deals, the London Financial Times reported today (Friday). (Most of the rest comes from merchandise -- primarily apparel -- licensing.) The newspaper noted that 315 members of the international media are currently covering the NBA Finals, many with live broadcasts, despite the fact that many air in the wee hours of the morning in their countries. "This is the golden period" for basketball in France, George Eddy, who is covering the series for France's Canal Plus, told the FT. There, The Games begin as late as 2 00 a.m. local time. But the biggest NBA market abroad, according to the newspaper, is China, where interest has been boosted by the NBA stardom of Yao Ming, the center for the Houston Rockets. (Eight international players are represented in this year's Finals.) "It is truly a global game," Heidi Ueberroth, president of the NBA's international operations, told the FT . "The players are global celebrities."
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