China’s State TV Network Cancels All NBA Broadcasts

The announcement follows the NBA commissioner’s freedom of speech defense of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who has been under fire since tweeting his support for the Hong Kong protests last week.

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The NBA has been canceled in China until further notice, the country’s state broadcaster said Tuesday.

The announcement follows the American basketball league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, defending Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s right to free speech, after the latter tweeted his support for the ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

“I have read some of the media suggesting that we are not supporting Daryl Morey, but in fact we have,” Silver told Kyodo News on Monday ahead of a promotional event in Japan. “I think as a values-based organization that I want to make it clear … that Daryl Morey is supported in terms of his ability to exercise his freedom of expression.”

Silver’s remarks did not go unnoticed in China, where they were met with a heavy-handed response.

“We are strongly dissatisfied and opposed to Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s freedom of expression,” China Central Television (CCTV) wrote Tuesday on microblogging platform Weibo. “We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech.”

The network said that, in light of Silver’s comments, it had suspended all broadcasts of NBA games in China effective immediately. Also on Tuesday, tech giant Tencent — which earlier this year extended its cooperation with the NBA by inking a five-year deal worth $1.5 billion — announced that it had suspended broadcasts of all remaining preseason games. Continue to read the full article here.


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.