NBA Broadcasts Returning to Chinese TV After More Than a Year

Basketball is coming back to Chinese TV.

China Central Television will revive its coverage of theNational Basketball Association on Saturday, just in time for Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat, according to areport in the Global Times.

The network, which holds exclusive rights for the NBA in China, stopped showing the league’s games after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for protesters in Hong Kong in October 2019.

“During the recent Chinese National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, the NBA sent their well wishes to fans in China,” state-run CCTV said in a statement published by ESPN, adding that the league had shown kindness by making efforts to support Chinese people during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The NBA didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Commissioner Adam Silver said in February that the league stood to lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the blackout.

“I think that the magnitude of the loss will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Silver said. “Probably less than $400 million, maybe even less than that.”

The controversy over Morey’s tweet also spilled over into the political arena. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, has engaged in online spats with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban about the league’s stance toward China and the Hong Kong protests.

LeBron James, the NBA’s biggest star, was widely criticized for calling Morey’s support for the protests “misinformed,” and “not educated about the situation.”

@Rachel__Nichols

LeBron James speaks for the first time since the NBA’s trip to China, says Rockets GM Daryl Morey was “misinformed” about the ramifications of his tweet, and “not educated about the situation.” Here are LeBron’s comments in full:

4:27 AM · Oct 15, 2019

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James, in turn, was called hypocritical by Joshua Wong, a leader of the Hong Kong protests, for his stance on China while promoting democratic causes and racial justice in the U.S.

The Global Times is a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

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