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Is MSG or SINA the Better Jeremy Lin Play?

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Jeremy Lin's storybook month continues.

The surprising New York Knicks point guard hit the near-buzzer-beating game-winning shot last night, sending his team to its sixth consecutive victory.

Linsanity! Lincredible! Linspirational!

Shares of Madison Square Garden (NYSE: MSG  ) opened higher on the dramatic win. It's been an exciting two weeks for the company that owns the Knicks, the namesake venue where it plays its home games, and the channel that follows the team. The stock closed higher on nine consecutive trading days, culminating in a new high on Monday. The stock took a breather yesterday, but last night's dramatic win is smoking out more buy orders today.

The stock's nearly 13% gain during that nine-day streak is as impressive as Lin's play, but is it the only winner?

We know that there's a loser. Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) is still engaged in a dispute that has blacked out the network from its 2 million subscribers in the New York area. Ratings for the MSG sports network are up a whopping 130%, and you just know that cancellations are flooding in from subscribers who are missing out on the games.

However, Madison Square Garden isn't the lone victor here.

How about SINA (Nasdaq: SINA  ) ? Lin followers on SINA's micro-blogging Weibo website broke 500,000 over the weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal's China Realtime Report blog. The same blog entry points out that Lin's Twitter page was only up to 120,000 followers at the time.

The NBA claims that there are 300 million basketball fans in China, which for those scoring at home is roughly the population of the entire United States.

Wait a minute!: Lin isn't Chinese. Technically, that's true. Lin was born in the United States to Taiwanese immigrants, though there are mainland roots. China's Zhejiang province is the ancestral home of Lin's maternal grandmother.

So while this country is relishing the story of the undrafted Harvard grad who has gone on to have two amazing weeks on the court, the Twitter of Asia may be relishing it even more. It's not as if you can tell by eyeing SINA's stock chart. The shares are actually trading marginally lower this month.

Just wait until the infusion of Lin-fusion kicks in.

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The Motley Fool owns shares of Madison Square Garden. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of SINA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2012, at 4:00 PM, akakroke wrote:

    "The NBA claims that there are 300 million basketball fans in China, which for those scoring at home is roughly the population of the entire United States." Haha! Excellent.

    SINA is down 2.4% as I write this; a little more and I'll buy a little more.

    Great article Rick!


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