China is a significant market for the NBA, worth up to 10% of its global revenue back in 2019, and the creation of physical infrastructure indicates it sees a long-term future there. Its disappearance from the state television channel may not matter as long as streaming platforms can continue to deliver content to fans – not a given considering recent government crackdowns on the tech giants.
The league has not been shown on terrestrial TV for two seasons and two teams have just been blacklisted by its streaming partner Tencent in the wake of tweets by players and managers relating to the political situations in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.
But in recent weeks the NBA has signed a deal with short-video platform Kuaishou and extended a partnership with Migu, China Mobile’s streaming offshoot; in addition, China Mobile has acquired the rights to the NBA League Pass.
Sourced from South China Morning Post [Image: NBA China]