Hong Kong Rumors
While other news has dominated sports headlines since the impasse began in 2019, the Chinese government continues to quietly keep the NBA off the air in the world’s largest basketball market. The TV exile began in October 2019 when then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators facing a violent crackdown by mainland China’s authoritarian communist government.
It’s unclear when the NBA will be back on Chinese televisions. The league declined to comment on its relationship with the Chinese broadcasters. The 76ers also declined to comment about the situation or say whether potential reaction from China was a discussion topic when Morey was hired. Privately-owned Tencent, which must abide by government mandates and has streamed the NBA since 2009, issued a brief statement: “We are a long-standing partner of the NBA and are committed to catering to the interests of the NBA fan base in China.”
Marc Stein: Sunday’s Rockets-Lakers game was broadcast in China via Tencent … Houston’s first game shown in China since former GM Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in October 2019. The Sixers, Morey’s new team, have not been aired in China this season
Chinese streaming giant Tencent has stopped live broadcasts of games by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in apparent protest at their new president Daryl Morey, who sparked a row by voicing support for Hong Kong protesters last year. Tencent has been offering text updates only for Sixers games as well as those involving the Houston Rockets, Morey’s former employer. It also refused to screen Rockets games last season.
Tencent’s refusal to stream Sixers and Rockets games, and CCTV’s continued black-out, extends a year-long stand-off in the NBA’s biggest international market that has cost it hundreds of millions of dollars.
American coaches at three NBA training academies in China told league officials their Chinese partners were physically abusing young players and failing to provide schooling, even though commissioner Adam Silver had said that education would be central to the program, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the complaints.