China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV will air Game 5 of the NBA Finals live tonight, it announced on its website — the first game telecast in China in over a year.
CCTV, which had shown NBA games since the early 1990s, pulled all coverage following Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Oct. 4, 2019. NBA games have been available to Chinese fans on the streaming service Tencent in the interim.
Amid the fallout, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league would accrue over $300 million in losses. The Chinese market was estimated to make up at least 10% of the NBA’s global revenue.
In a statement to ESPN, CCTV said the NBA’s goodwill efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — which included donating over $1 million in medical equipment — played a role in its decision to resume airing games.