BEIJING/SHANGHAI: The first NBA games played in China pulled in the highest TV ratings since the summer Olympics, according to Nielsen Media Research (NMR).
NMR recorded 11.5 rating points for the pre-season playoffs in Shanghai and Beijing in mid-October compared with the same month's inaugural Shanghai Grand Prix's 9.6's rating points. It helped that the pre-season games featured Chinese hoop star Yao Ming playing with the Houston Rockets against the Sacramento Kings. The games were broadcast on Shanghai Sports Channel and CCTV-5. The ratings equate to just over one million viewers. Siabhan Duguid, director of Field Asia linked the viewership levels to the NBA's early investment in China. "It has been a slow, steady burn, centered around TV coverage of its regular games with a view to building loyalty."