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NBA strikes a digital deal with Times Internet

The partnership will help NBA to reach out to its fans in India by providing them with a range of comprehensive content. TIL will also get more viewers to its website, ultimately leading to increase in traffic for the site.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Times Internet Ltd (TIL), a subsidiary of the Times Group, have inked a digital partnership to launch a dedicated NBA section on the Times of India website (www.timesofindia.com).

The partnership will help NBA to reach out to its fans in India by providing them with a range of comprehensive content. On the other hand, TIL will also get more viewers to its website, ultimately leading to increase in traffic to the site. In addition to this, TIL aims to leverage this synergy and play a vital role in developing interest for basketball in India.

Claiming to reach out to more than 12 million users per month, the new dedicated NBA section is already up on the Times of India website. It will provide fans daily updates on the latest NBA news, scores and original columns from The Times of India journalists. Daily video highlights, photo galleries and articles from NBA analysts will also be offered, as well as in-depth features on the league and its players. Moreover, journalists from The Times of India will travel to the 2011 NBA finals to provide on-site and behind-the-scenes coverage for fans in India.

Talking to afaqs!, Akash Jain, senior director, business development and partnerships, NBA India, says, "It is a long-term term partnership which will help us to reach out to our Indian fans utilising the digital platform and this, in turn, will help fans in India to follow and support their favourite teams."

However, he refused to divulge any details, including the financial aspect of the deal.

In an official communiqué, Rishi Khiani, chief executive officer, Times Internet, says, "The NBA is the premier men's professional basketball league in North America. With the growing popularity of basketball globally -- and, more recently in India -- we plan to leverage our audience to help popularise the sport further and drive newer audiences for the game."

Khiani adds, "Since there is a significant overlap in the target audience for both TIL and NBA, both parties can expect to benefit from the other's fan base."

It is to be noted that NBA has become the second sports league after the Indian Premier League (IPL) to partner with the Times Group in India, highlighting the growing popularity of basketball and the NBA in India.

Talking about why TIL partnered with NBA after the IPL, he mentions, "Discussions with the NBA were going on prior to the IPL. However, it was announced when the NBA section on the Times of India website went live."

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