China Doubles Down on Refusal to Air NBA Games

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Last year, China refused to air NBA games. Now, seven months later, the communist nation is showing no sign of changing that policy.

In its first statement in months, China’s CCTV said that it still has no intention of renewing its relationship with the NBA, and its boycott will remain in full force, ESPN reports.

CCTV shut down speculation that the relationship might restart by releasing a statement on the Chinese social media site Weibo, saying it is “reiterating its consistent stance on national sovereignty.”

The continued resistance to cooperating with the NBA comes seven months after an NBA team executive revealed his support for the pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong.

Last October, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey posted a very short tweet reading, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” China immediately took offense to the tweet and demanded action from the NBA. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver quickly caved in to China’s demands and Morey soon apologized for supporting democracy.

Despite the NBA’s kowtowing to Chinese authoritarianism, China retaliated against American basketball by ending many of its business deals with the NBA.

Speculation that China and the NBA may be about ready to begin cooperating again came after the NBA appointed Michael Ma as the new CEO of NBA China.

Ma was CEO of Endeavor China, and has worked with the NBA in various capacities for thirteen years.

Meanwhile, the NBA continues to lose money from its now canceled deals with China. Recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league had already lost $300 million in revenue.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.