NBA's New Year celebration scores well in China

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA says its schedule of games during its Chinese New Year celebration was watched by 96 million viewers in China.

The inaugural event ran from Jan. 21-28 and featured a 21-game broadcast schedule. The games attracted 79 million viewers on the NBA's television partners in China, while another 17 million watched games and special programming on digital platforms.

The weeklong events continued the league's strong performance in China, where live games on CCTV5 are up 39 percent compared to the same period last year. The league drew more viewers last year on TV and digital than ever before, even as Chinese star Yao Ming's career was coming to a close.