Tim Arango of The New York Times penned an interesting article on online piracy yesterday. Broadcasting rights are big business in professional sports and the NFL, MLB, and the NBA have become “vulnerable” to game piracy.
Arango reports that the NBA has taken a unique approach to the issue:
The N.B.A.’s popularity in China, thanks in large part to the star power of Yao Ming, the Chinese star on the Houston Rockets, has made its games some of the most popular for pirates and viewers. A single game last year between the Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks drew 1.1 million viewers, mostly in China, over the China-based service Sopcast.
As a result, the N.B.A. has gone so far as to form a partnership with two peer-to-peer streaming services in China to offer legitimate streaming of live games.