Sport: China stops broadcast of NBA games over tweet drama - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport China stops broadcast of NBA games over tweet drama

16:30  09 october  2019
16:30  09 october  2019 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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  Amid rift with China, will the NBA be forced to apologize? When major corporations have done something to anger Chinese authorities in recent years, the playbook has called for one thing: an apology. Marriott issued one. So did Delta. Mercedes-Benz, too. The NBA, embroiled in a rift caused by a tweet expressing support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, has avoided going that route — for now. But with billions at stake from things like merchandise sales and media rights, some experts are wondering if anything other than an apology from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will mend this fence, especially with the Chinese indicating that is what they want.

The Chinese have canceled TV broadcasts and streaming of the NBA ’s preseason games , as the communist country continues to react to a The NBA ’s digital partner in China , Tencent, also suspended all cooperation with the NBA for streaming its preseason games over Chinese Internet.

NBA preseason games will not be broadcast in China in response to a tweet from the Houston Rockets GM as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defends freedom of


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league is not apologising for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's since-deleted tweet showing support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, even after China's state broadcaster canceled plans to show a pair of preseason games in that country later this week.

Silver, speaking Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo before a preseason game between the Rockets and NBA champion Toronto Raptors, went as far as to say that he and the league are "apologetic" that so many Chinese officials and fans were upset by Morey's tweet and comments that followed - but insisted that Morey has the right to freedom of expression.

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China has stopped broadcasts of NBA preseason games over a Hong Kong tweet promoting democracy and protests in Hong Kong. CBS News' Chris Martinez reports.

China 's state television and streaming platform Tencent have both suspended the planned broadcast of NBA preseason games , as backlash mounts over a tweet posted by the Houston Rockets' general manager supporting Hong Kong protesters. Also today: the US expands its blacklist of Chinese

"Daryl Morey, as general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees," Silver said.

"What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences."

Adam Silver wearing a suit and tie: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver © AAP NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Among those consequences: CCTV said it would not show the games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, who will play Thursday in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen. Basketball is wildly popular in China and those two teams — largely because of LeBron James starring for the Lakers and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's co-founder Joe Tsai now owning the Nets — almost certainly would have been a huge television draw.

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The NBA has been forced to issue a grovelling apology to China after a team’s general manager tweeted support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. But the backlash in China has been swift and comprehensive. Chinese state television and Tencent, the two major broadcasters of NBA

China says it will stop broadcasting NBA games after Commissioner Adam Silver defended Daryl The Rockets and the NBA attempted to distance themselves from the tweet immediately afterward. The Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV responded by halting all broadcasts of NBA preseason

"We're strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver's claim to support Morey's right to freedom of expression," CCTV said in a statement.

"We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech."

The NBA is not the first major corporation to deal with criticism from China over political differences. Mercedes-Benz, Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara and others also have found themselves in conflicts with China in recent years.The broadcaster is also reviewing all its cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA, said the statement posted to CCTV Sports' official social media account.

Silver is going to Shanghai on Wednesday and said he hopes to meet with officials and some of the league's business partners there in an effort to find some sort of common ground. He said he hopes Chinese officials and fans look at the totality of the impact of the three-decade-plus relationship between the league and their country, and urged them to see his response while acknowledging there are political differences between the countries.

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Chinese state media suspends broadcast of NBA preseason games in China . Published 40 min agoUpdated Moments Ago. It comes after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey's tweet in support of the Hong Kong anti-government protests.

The NBA finds itself caught between two cultures after a tweet about Hong Kong protests sparked criticism from China that threatens the U.S. basketball league’s expansion efforts in its most important Tencent has seen Internet viewership of NBA games nearly triple over the past four years.

"I'm sympathetic to our interests here and our partners that are upset," Silver said. "I don't think it's inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles."

Adam Silver standing posing for the camera: Zion Williamson is the no.1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft © AAP Zion Williamson is the no.1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft

Silver said the NBA did not expect CCTV to cancel plans to show the Lakers-Nets games.

"But if those are the consequences of us adhering to our values, I still feel it's very, very important to adhere to those values," Silver said.

The rift between China and the NBA started late last week when Morey tweeted a now-deleted image that read: "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong," in reference to months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the semiautonomous Chinese territory that has been mired in escalating violence between protesters and law enforcement.

Further complicating the matter is this: China's best-known basketball player is Hall of Famer Yao Ming, who spent his NBA career with the Rockets. Yao is now the president of the Chinese Basketball Association, which has said it is suspending its relationship with the Rockets as part of the response to Morey's tweet. The CBA also canceled plans to have the G League affiliates from Houston and Dallas play preseason games in China later this month.Efforts were quickly made to defuse the impact; Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Morey does not speak for the Rockets, and Morey returned to Twitter on Monday in an effort to clarify his meaning. But damage was clearly done: At least one Chinese sporting goods company said it was no longer cooperating with the Rockets, NBA streaming partner Tencent — which has a $1.5 billion contract with the league over the next five seasons — said it would not show Rockets games and a sports news website in China said it was no longer covering the team.

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NBA preseason games will not be broadcast in China in response to a tweet from the Houston Rockets GM as NBA Commissioner Adam China NBA . JUST NOW – Jim Jordan: Whistleblower has a bias against the president (First scamming con-artist Schiff lies, then Jordan responds) 10/8/2019.

CNBC's Eunice Yoon reports on China 's response to a tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey favoring the protests in Hong Kong.

"I'm hoping that together Yao Ming and I can find an accommodation," Silver said.

"But he is extremely hot at the moment, and I understand it."

"How can it be possible to carry out exchanges and cooperation with China without knowing China's public opinion?" Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday. "NBA's cooperation with China has been going on for quite a long time, so for what should be said and what should be done, they know best."A ceremonial NBA Cares event for an educational center in Shanghai with the Nets was canceled Tuesday, though the Nets participated in other events as scheduled. The Lakers were arriving there Tuesday. Silver said NBA Cares would still honor its bigger mission surrounding that event, including providing a gift of new computers.

Silver also released a statement before his news conference, saying "those who question our motivation" should know that the NBA's stance is about more than business. Many U.S. lawmakers have called for the league to take action — some even suggesting the games in China should be canceled by the NBA.

"We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression," Silver said. "I regret — again, having communicated directly with many friends in China — that so many people are upset, including millions and millions of our fans. At the end of the day, we come with basketball as an opportunity to sell dreams, sell hopes ... that we are causing disruption in people's lives and that we are causing disharmony, that's something I regret."

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