Yesterday there were rumors of Chinese broadcaster CCTV allegedly discontinuing broadcasts of the English Premier League.
Rising global tensions between Beijing and the UK may be a factor, as speculated by Simon Chadwich, a professor at Emlyon Business School.
On July 23, he tweeted, “China just announced that from tomorrow, CCTV will cease showing Premier League matches (seemingly in response to growing tension between Beijing and London/Washington).”
Earlier this month, the UK recently banned China’s telecommunications giant Huawei’s 5G technology. This has since added to the tense political relations between the two countries.
According to Bloomberg, CCTV officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Others also noted that the Wednesday night match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC was not aired as scheduled on CCTV. Meanwhile, Sunday’s final round of games have not been included in CCTV’s program schedule. Premier League fans in China have only been able to view the football matches on streaming platforms such as PPTV.
However, these accounts are conflicting as another Twitter user posted a picture of the match and pointed out, “In case there was any doubt if CCTV5+ aired the @LFC v @ChelseaFC LIVE early this morning in China,” while also throwing in the hashtag ‘fake news’ for good measure.
Image via @ACMailman/Twitter
Pulling the Premier League from Chinese broadcasts would not be the first time a professional sports league has been suspended from state television. Last year, CCTV and Tencent Sports decided to stop airing NBA preseason games after a team official shared a controversial tweet regarding Hong Kong related events.
[Cover image via Wikimedia]