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Cisco Shoots And Scores With NBA Deal

The NBA will use Cisco's networking technology to deliver the league's communications and content to fans, customers, employees, and the media.

The National Basketball Association on Wednesday said it plans to deploy Cisco Systems technology to enhance the league's games and increase collaboration with its global community.

The NBA will use Cisco's networking technology, such as telepresence, across its various platforms to deliver the league's communications and content to fans, customers, employees, and the media. This includes major events like the NBA All-Star game, the NBA Playoffs, and the Finals.

Telepresence could potentially play a large role in the NBA's operations in China, where face-to-face meetings could be conducted remotely using the technology, according to Cisco.

"This relationship is a big win for Cisco because it allows us to demonstrate the power of the network to not only bring fans closer to the action but to also help the league expand the way they communicate with coaches, media, players and fans, worldwide," said Alan Cohen, Cisco's VP of enterprise marketing, in a statement.

Programming and full-length games will be offered to fans in the United States and Asia through NBA TV using encoders and decoders supplied by Scientific-Atlanta, a Cisco unit that provides set-top boxes and end-to-end video distribution networks. Cisco last February acquired the company for $6.9 billion.

NBA TV was launched in 1999 to become the first 24-hour television channel created and operated by a professional sports league. The channel's content is now being distributed in over 70 countries.

Additionally, Cisco will participate in the NBA Cares initiative, providing schools in New Orleans with educational and technological resources. Cisco and the NBA will build 30 family community resource centers in the region. Both organizations plan to contribute over 30,000 hours of community service and help thirty thousand children by the end of NBA's 2007-2008 season.

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