The National Basketball Association announced Monday that a Brazilian Web portal will be the first to stream live NBA games over the Internet, increasing the league's presence in South America's largest country.
NBA Latin America said Globoesporte.com will air two matches a week starting with Tuesday's match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks. A subscription will cost fans about US$5 (Ђ4) per month.
"We broadcast NBA highlights all over the world, but Brazil will be the first country to be able to broadcast live games," said Vincent Burniske, director of television and marketing for NBA Latin America. "We want to reach out to fans in every media platform."
Globoesporte's parent company, Globo.com, is owned by Brazil's Organizacoes Globo, Latin America's largest media corporation. The terms of the three-year deal weren't disclosed.
"Hopefully this will stimulate the appearance of new talents in Brazil," said basketball legend Julius Erving, in Brazil to promote the new service.
The NBA now has four Brazilian players: Nene Hilario of the Denver Nuggets, Leandro Barbosa of the Phoenix Suns, Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rafael Araujo of the Toronto Raptors.
ESPN International already broadcasts two live matches per week on Brazilian cable networks, and the NBA is in negotiations "to bring a preseason match to Brazil in the short term," Burniske said.
The NBA's "Basketball Without Borders" training camp also brings together some of the best young players from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries, reports AP.
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