China to Resume Airing NBA Games

After a year hiatus, China’s CCTV will televise Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which will take place Friday night in the U.S., ESPN reports.

The state-run network stopped airing NBA games last year after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey sent out a tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters.

CCTV issued a statement about resuming the broadcasts citing the NBA’s assistance with fighting COVID-19 in the country as the reason for bringing the coverage back.

“During the recent Chinese National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, the NBA sent their well wishes to fans in China,” CCTV said in a statement. “We also took note of the league has been continuously delivering goodwill [to China], particularly making positive contributions to Chinese people’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to ESPN, the NBA donated more than $1 million and medical equipment to China earlier this year.

In February, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league was facing more than $300 million in losses after several Chinese companies pulled their support of NBA teams. Silver has been working to improve relations with China.

One of the moves Silver made was putting Michael Ma, the son of the founder of CCTV Sports, in charge of the league’s Chinese operations in May. At the time, CCTV wasn’t receptive to the move and said it was “reiterating its consistent stance on national sovereignty.”

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