Shanghai (China), Oct. 14.- NBA game broadcasts resumed today in China, except for those played by the Houston Rockets, a few days after the comment of the general manager of that team in favor of the Hong Kong protesters will unleash a wave of reactions.
The independent South China Morning Post reported today that Tencent, the NBA’s exclusive digital partner in China, broadcast two live matches with commentators this morning: the Chicago Bulls-Toronto Raptors and the Maccabi Haifa-Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, the Houston Rockets games have been permanently removed from the calendar.
In fact, the newspaper says, last week the Chinese tech giant offered subscribers who had chosen this team as a favorite for broadcasts to switch to another or receive a refund.
Monday’s live broadcast came days after Tencent canceled last week’s broadcast of two NBA team exhibition games held in China, the most important international market for the US league.
On Friday 4, Morey posted a message (already deleted) in his personal Twitter account that read: “Fight for freedom. Support Hong Kong”, referring to the prodemocratic demonstrations that have been going on for four months they happen in the city, and they have the total opposition of Beijing.
As a consequence, state television CCTV and Tencent, an important partner of ESPN and the NBA in China with a $ 1,500 million (about 1,366 million) retransmission agreement in the next 5 years, announced that they would not broadcast Rockets games .
All this after league commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA supported Morey’s right to exercise freedom of expression.
Last Wednesday the Shanghai Sports Federation decided to cancel an event for NBA fans to be held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, which was precisely the stadium where the US team played the first phase of the last World Cup .