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Chinese state TV drops NBA games amid twitter row

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:33s

Chinese state TV drops NBA games amid twitter row

CCTV's move to cancel showings of NBA exhibition games comes after the NBA commissioner refused to condemn a tweet by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, supporting the Hong Kong protests.Gracie Jerome reports.

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Chinese state TV drops NBA games amid twitter row

NBA fans in China won't be able to watch any exhibition games played in the country this week.

That's because state media channel CCTV and tech giant Tencent Holdings - which has exclusive internet streaming rights in China - are for the time being refusing to put them on air.

Heaping pressure on the U.S. basketball league after a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive backing protests in Hong Kong.

On Tuesday NBA commissioner Adam Silver hailed the importance of free speech in the ongoing row over the team manager's comments.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER, SAYING: "The long held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression, and certainly freedoms of expression by the NBA community, and in this case Daryl Morey as the General Manager of the Houston Rockets enjoys that right as one of our employees.

What I also try to suggest is I understand that there are consequences from that exercise of in essence his freedom of speech, and we will have to live with those consequences." Daryl Morey had apologized on Monday (7 October) for any hurt caused by the tweet, which he quickly deleted over the weekend... And the NBA issued a statement the same day saying it regretted Morey's remarks, drawing criticism from U.S. lawmakers China's government, fans and the team's partners though were not appeased.

Sponsors pulled out and broadcasts were cancelled in the sport's biggest international market.

A pre-season game between the Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers is set for Thursday in Shanghai.

But organizers abruptly cancelled a Tuesday media event without explanation.

Several Chinese celebrities also announced they would not attend an NBA-organized "fans' night" on Wednesday.

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