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October 9, 2016

Wang Jianjun

Adam Silver

Shanghai, China

THE MODERATOR: It is our great honor to invite NBA Commissioner Mr. Adam Silver and Shanghai Media Group President Madam Wang Jianjun to step on the stage.

ADAM SILVER: Thank you very much, everyone, for being here today, and Madam Wang, especially, thank you to you.

It\'s wonderful to be here in Shanghai for the 10th edition of our NBA Global Games in China. I want to particularly thank the Houston Rockets, who are on their fourth trip to China, as well as the New Orleans Pelicans, their coaches and players for making this journey to China.

I\'d also like to thank our partners for their strong support of these China games, especially Master Kong, Dongfeng Nissan, the Shanghai Sports Bureau and, of course, BesTV.

Most importantly, I\'m pleased to announce today the expansion of the NBA\'s partnership with BesTV that will now be broadcasting up to 1,300 games per season here in China. As the banner behind me says, it\'s a multimedia partnership that brings the very best in television and technology to the NBA in China.

I want to extend a special thank you to my friend Madam Wang and the Shanghai Media Group for making this possible.

It wouldn\'t be complete if I didn\'t also thank Kenny Smith and Gary Payton for making the trip over here for this important announcement.

Enjoy tonight\'s game, and thank you very much.

THE MODERATOR: Next it is our pleasure to invite Shanghai Media Group President Madam Wang Jianjun to share some words.

MADAM WANG JIANJUN: Respected Mr. Adam Silver, the press, our friends from NBA and distinguished guests, good evening. It is my great pleasure to be here at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, an SMG property, together with Mr. Silver to join to unveil the 10th NBA Global Games in China.

The first friendship between the NBA and SMG dated back to about 20 years ago. In 1996, Shanghai TV station, SMG\'s predecessor, was the first in China to live-broadcast an NBA game, attracting widespread attention. Superstars such as Michael Jordan and Shaquille O\'Neal quickly became role models among young people in China.

China\'s very own Yao Ming also made his way into the NBA and joined the Houston Rockets, and I was glad to know that he became a Hall of Famer not long ago.

I\'m proud to say that Yao used to play for the Shanghai Sharks, a basketball team that SMG used to own, so the world is really small. All of us are connected in a way.

The collaboration between the NBA and SMG has been deepening over the past 20 years. Since Day One we have achieved a lot together. We are covering the games on the Great Sports Channel. BesTV has acquired NBA LEAGUE PASS, and we have the rights to do live commentary in the United States.

In a way, SMG has also witnessed the NBA\'s globalization throughout the years. Audiences now can access NBA games through diversified platforms, including Great Sports Channel, IPTV/OTT set-top boxes, apps, SiTV, Xbox, PlayStation, et cetera.

You can find these programs across different platforms owned by Oriental Pearl such as the IPTV/OTT set-top boxes, as I just mentioned a little while ago.

I\'m especially happy that our collaborations are not just limited to broadcasting. We are also exploring opportunities in investment, in resources-sharing and talents as well. The NBA has been very supportive to SMG and Oriental Pearl\'s strategy to go global.

Adam has kindly asked me to break one more piece of news for you. We are going to make some breakthroughs in our collaboration. We are going to adopt a VR technology to produce some high-quality programs so that our viewers can have better experiences. So you have a lot to expect. Well, I thought he was going to break the news, but he was very kind to ask me to do that.

I believe our collaboration will trailblaze the basketball exchanges between the United States and China, and I pledge to make our contributions to youth development and the Chinese sports industry together in the future. Thank you again for the trust and support from the NBA. Thank you very much, Adam, and I look forward to a great game tonight. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: We would like to invite NBA China CEO David Shoemaker and Oriental Pearl Group president Zhang Wei on the stage for the official signing ceremony. Commissioner Silver and Madam Wang, would you please stand and witness this very special occasion. Congratulations to the NBA and SMG BesTV on your partnership.

Now we\'ll open the floor for media questions.

Q. Madam Wang, among all those big international TV brands, why are we choosing the NBA to collaborate? And Mr. Silver, why are you choosing BesTV?
MADAM WANG JIANJUN: This is not a very difficult question for me. The NBA was established about 70 years ago, so it has a very long history, and its high level of competition is leading the trends of global international basketball competition. Actually, it is not only doing games, but also it is very eager to do charity events, to do things for children, for communities, and it has reached out to communities, to underprivileged communities and to also children, disabled children. So I think our core values are the same.

And also, about 20 years ago, we started to cover the NBA games on our cable channel; I call that touching base. But today, 20 years later, we\'re joining hands together. This is not just touching base; this is joining hands together. We have developed very close relationships during the past 20 years, and that\'s why we have chosen the NBA to push forward our collaboration together.

ADAM SILVER: There\'s not a lot I can add to that answer, because I agree with everything that Madam Wang said. BesTV represents the best in television, the best technology, the best management. As Madam Wang said, we share core values in our business, including supporting those in the community and helping those who we are in business with and who watch our games on TV. And just as one example of the flexibility that BesTV and SMG has, as Madam Wang mentioned earlier, just earlier today, we met and were thinking about additional things we could do together. We both share a love for technology and new platforms, and we said, We should be doing something in virtual reality. And that came together very quickly.

BesTV provides the best possible partnership for the NBA.

Q. Commissioner Silver, could you elaborate a little bit more about a difference between this new partnership and the previous one we had in terms of how we better appeal to the fans, especially nowadays?
ADAM SILVER: The difference in this relationship and our old one is there are so many more platforms and technologies available to us today through BesTV, whether it\'s IPTV, streaming of games, whether it\'s making our games available on mobile devices or on tablets. This creates the greatest possible exposure for us. And also, as I said earlier, we\'re experimenting together with new ways to present the game. We\'re looking at things like special camera angles for people watching on mobile phones, on small screens, so they can better see the faces of the players, and we\'re looking at opportunities in virtual reality.

In addition to the new technologies, this package makes far more games available than ever before in our relationship with SMG, up to 1,300 games per season.

Q. Adam, how would you describe the state of negotiations with the Players Association on a collective bargaining agreement, and would any progress on that amend your expectations to resolve that or the timetable for that?
ADAM SILVER: In terms of our collective bargaining discussions with the players, I\'d say they\'re going very well. There\'s been a great sense and spirit of cooperation across the table and desire to move forward. I think there\'s a sense from both the owners and the union management that there is a lot at stake here. I think everyone is feeling the pressure from all the constituents involved in this league, all the jobs that we provide, that it\'s incumbent on us to work something out and get a deal done.

I\'m not going to put any more of a specific timetable on it than that, but that we continue to meet. In fact, the head of the Players Association, Michele Roberts, was in Spain where I just came from, where she was accompanying the Oklahoma City Thunder. We had an opportunity to speak there as well, and so we continue to be engaged on a regular basis.

I remain optimistic that we\'re going to get something done relatively soon.

Q. As BesTV, how would you attract your fans, now that you have expanded your partnership with the NBA?
MADAM WANG JIANJUN: Well, after 20 years of existence in China, why is the NBA choosing BesTV to expand our partnership? I think, first, we\'re emotionally very close together. Other reasons why they are choosing BesTV are because we have the best resources, the best technology, the best production ability and the best brand in China. After this newly renewed partnership, NBA games can be found across different platforms owned by SMG and Oriental Pearl. That is the Great Sports Channel, IPTV/OTT set-top boxes and also Xbox and PlayStation, et cetera. We have already broadcast about 9,000 NBA games in the past. In the future, we\'re planning to adopt 4K and virtual-reality technology to make the viewing experience even better for our audiences.

Apart from live broadcasts of NBA games, we also plan to introduce NBA-themed programs, games and shopping services for our viewers. We also are brainstorming online and offline activities. We are doing all of the above to push forward the sports industry in China, which is just taking off.

Q. I have one question for Madam Wang. You said SMG possesses a lot of resources. Now after the expansion of the partnership, what other resources do you plan to introduce to help make the impact of NBA games even better?
MADAM WANG JIANJUN: Thank you for your question. I actually already mentioned some of the resources in the last question, but I\'m quite glad to pick up your question again. I think one of the advantages and resources SMG has is marketing and promotional abilities. We have a number of radio channels, TV channels, as well as magazines and newspapers, as well as new media platforms such as the IPTV/OTT set-top boxes, SiTV, apps, et cetera.

And secondly, while the basketball is just a ball, the NBA has made it so successful. So there is a mechanism that\'s made this sport so successful. I think what we\'ll learn from the NBA -- of course we have a lot of resources. For example, Kobe Bryant was in a variety-show program on SMG some time ago, and we have also other very successful reality shows and other programs that are available for other stars to come.

Also, as I mentioned in the last question, we plan to develop and introduce NBA-themed programs, games and also shopping services. So I think this new partnership opens a whole new chapter, and there is a lot we can explore together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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