NBA-China Tension Starts To Melt As Tencent Streams Games Again
There are signs that tension between the NBA and China "has begun to dissipate," according to Sopan Deb of the N.Y. TIMES. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in an email wrote all events around this weekend's All-Star Game in Chicago "will be carried in China on Tencent." The development is notable, as Tencent "has been showing up to three games a night" after "initially stopping its coverage" in the fall following Rockets GM Daryl Morey's pro-Hong Kong tweet. Deb reports some people around the league "believe there is a chance that CCTV airs the NBA All-Star Game," as well as more games after that. Additionally, the timing of the All-Star Game "may be a stroke of good luck for the NBA because of the larger domestic politics involved." The first phase of a trade deal struck last month between China and the U.S. "will take effect" on Friday, signaling the "warmest point in the relationship between the two countries since President Trump took office." Meanwhile, it is "unclear what the business impact of the China fallout has been for the NBA." One indicator that the league is in a "healthy place" is its salary cap, which next season is "projected to be" $116M, an increase from $109.1M this season. Silver has "made clear that he would like the league to make amends with China, regardless of the optics of doing business with an oppressive regime" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/14).