Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A basketball game beating the Super Bowl?

In all likelihood, yes.

The Rockets versus Bucks matchup Saturday was estimated to have been viewed by 200 million worldwide. This game featured Yao Ming of the Rockets versus Yi Jianlian of the Bucks, therefore it drew a huge Chinese audience. Even though the Super Bowl was the highest rated ever, it drew an American audience of 97.5 million, it is extremely likely that the Rockets-Bucks was watched by more people worldwide because the rest of the world doesn't share our love for American football.

A great article in The American looks at how basketball could soon outpace soccer as the world's most popular sport. What surprised me is that Tracy McGrady sells more jerseys in China than Yao does. Considering the number of foreign born and raised players in the NBA and the league's popularity overseas, it wouldn't be surprising if the NBA is a world entertainment and mirch in dice (sorry merchandise) power in the not to distant future. The NFL will probably reign supreme in the U.S., but the NBA is the league to bank on worldwide.

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