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Lakers parade 2010 after NBA Finals Game 7 with the biggest global audience ever

The Lakers parade 2010 gives Los Angeles an opportunity to celebrate the team's championship win over the Boston Celtics. But it isn't the only thing the NBA is celebrating. More people globally watched these the 2010 Finals than ever before.

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It was unclear as of Friday morning how many people in the US watched the Finals, but Game 5 on June 13 had 18.2 million viewers in the US alone, according to Nielsen ratings agency. That's a million more viewers than most anticipated World Cup match yet, England vs. USA, which had 17 million, according to Sports Media Watch. With such incredible ratings, ABC was selling 30-second commercial spots for about $400,000, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Game 6 matched the Game 5 audience, and was the biggest audience in six years for an NBA finals game.

As the NBA grows internationally, more foreign players are getting good enough to play in the NBA. Looking long-term, basketball scouts are hunting for the next Pau Gasol in Africa, India, or China.

But the NBA has a while yet before it can start marketing top international players abroad, such as Pau Gasol of Spain, says sportswriter Jack McCallum.

"The marketing component has not taken off," says Mr. McCallum, who has covered the NBA for Sports Illustrated since the mid-1980s. "They got ‘em because they were good... It’s a total value system, that’s why they’re playing."

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IN PICTURES: Riots in Los Angeles after the NBA finals

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