Tencent Resumes NBA Broadcasts After Tweet Scandal

By Bryan Grogan, October 15, 2019

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Tencent resumed showing live NBA preseason games yesterday, October 14, six days after suspending live broadcasts in the wake of a tweeting scandal by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. 

According to local reports, Tencent live-streamed video of preseason games between the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors, as well as a game between Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv and Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, October 14. Of the six total games broadcast today, however, all of them are being streamed with text only, and without video playback. Bloomberg are reporting that live broadcasts of preseason games will be shown in text only, until full video streaming resumes on October 23. 

State broadcaster CCTV has yet to resume streaming of preseason games after suspending broadcasts last week. 

It’s perhaps no surprise that Tencent have resumed streaming, as the original statement sent out by the company on Weibo referenced only China games (中国赛) when talking about the broadcast suspension. 

In response to questions made by reporters about Tencent’s decision to resume broadcasting the preseason games, China Foreign Ministry spokeperson Geng Shuang said, “You should know that we generally do not comment on the specific business practices of individual companies,” before adding, “What I can tell you here is that sports exchanges have always played a positive role in promoting Sino-US friendship and promoting the development of bilateral relations. But at the same time, as I said before, whether in China, in the United States or in other parts of the world, an important prerequisite for exchanges and cooperation is mutual respect.”

Elsewhere, NBA superstar Lebron James has said that Morey wasn’t educated before sending the controversial tweet about the political situation in Hong Kong. According to ESPN, before a preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, James told media, “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand,” before going on to say, “And so many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and say and we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too.”

James’ Lakers took on the Brooklyn Nets in a pair of preseason games in Shanghai and Shenzhen last week in the wake of the tweeting scandal. While it was uncertain whether the matches would go forward, both games went off without a hitch, with the Nets beating the Lakers in both games. 

READ MORE: CCTV and Tencent Suspend NBA Coverage Amid Tweet Scandal

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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