A single tweet led to the NBA losing “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to league commissioner Adam Silver.
The league was blacked out on China’s CCTV for 18 months following an October 2019 tweet in support of Hong Kong protestors by Daryl Morey, then the general manager of the Houston Rockets. Morey is now president of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- The NBA’s China business is worth around $5 billion.
- NBA owners have more than $10 billion invested in Chinese businesses, led by Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai.
- CCTV resumed broadcasting the NBA in March.
“Others since then have spoken out about their views around China and other places in the world, and if the consequences are that we’re taken off the air or we lose money, we accept that,” Silver said.
Credit Where It’s Due
On Friday, ratings agency Fitch gave three senior-secured funding notes released by NBA affiliate Hardwood Funding an A- rating. The notes total $417 million.
Fitch cited “the NBA’s stable financial position supported by the strength of the league’s broadcast contracts and the underlying core economic model of the NBA.”
The ratings agency noted the league’s “moderate levels of revenue sharing” and “soft salary cap,” which it said promotes competitive balance.
“The league’s solid viewership and attendance trends coupled with robust international growth indicate a strengthening position among professional sports leagues,” Fitch wrote.