NBA: Houston Rockets return to screens in China


Posted at Jan 11 2021 07:10 PM

NBA: Houston Rockets return to screens in China 1
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts to a basket during the first quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Carmen Mandato, Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Houston Rockets fans in China were able to watch them play for the first time in 15 months on Monday, the South China Morning Post reported, after a team official's tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters in 2019 led to their games being blacked out.

Chinese state television had resumed airing National Basketball Association (NBA) games on its sports channel on Oct. 10, almost a year after broadcasts were halted following a tweet from then Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey.

Tencent, which has exclusive internet streaming rights for the NBA in China, broadcast the Rockets' 120-102 defeat to champions Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, with viewers in China catching the action early on Monday.

Houston enjoy significant support among basketball fans in China thanks to Yao Ming, who was drafted first overall by the Rockets in the 2002 Draft and played for them until 2011.

The report added that games involving the Philadelphia 76ers, who Morey joined as chief of basketball operations last year, are still not being shown in China.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Watch more on iWantTFC