yao vs. yi

This is it. It's the match-up a billion sports fans have been waiting for. It's Yao Ming vs. Yi Jianlian, China's greatest player facing his super-hyped rookie countryman for the first time: Two's company for Yao against countryman Yi. In China, tonight's game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets is expected to draw record TV ratings—more than 200 million viewers. The Super Bowl doesn't even come close. The game, starting early Saturday morning in China, will air on 19 television stations, including CCTV-5, the country's government-run network. It'll also be available on two webcasts and on video-enabled wireless phones. This all translates, of course, for huge dollar signs for the NBA: Yao-Yi matchup could set ratings records, shows NBA's global reach. The marketing potential is enormous. No wonder the NFL wants to get in on this action. The Bucks play the Rockets in Houston tonight, starting at 8:30pm ET.

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