Despite announcing on October 8 on Weibo that the NBA preseason broadcast would be suspended amidst the ongoing controversy, Tencent Sports resumed broadcasts of certain games. The two games included the Chicago Bulls vs. the Toronto Raptors and the Maccabi Haifa against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tencent also announced that the users subscribing to the Houston Rockets games, broadcasts of which have been halted, can change their subscription to another team or apply for a refund.
Prior to this, the CCTV Sports Channel issued a statement announcing the suspension of all NBA broadcast arrangements.
“We have noticed that Adam Silver, the NBA president who is participating in an event in Japan, responded to the Houston Rockets general manager Morey’s inappropriate Hong Kong-related remarks. We are strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam’s support for Morey’s claims for the right to free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” said the CCTV announcement.
On October 4, Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted and later deleted his tweet, “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.” The message sparked immense outrage from the Chinese public, heavily damaging NBA’s reputation in the country. The Houston Rockets, long China’s favorite team once home to Chinese legend Yao Ming, had all their merchandise pulled from Chinese sites, and their broadcasting banned.