NBA returns to China TV after yearlong ban

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Oct 10 2020 09:51 AM

Game 5 of the NBA Finals will air live on China's CCTV, the league's first appearance on broadcast television there in more than a year.

The state-run network stopped showing NBA games last October after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support of protests in Hong Kong.

In a statement, CCTV cited the NBA's help with fighting COVID-19 in China as a factor in its decision to resume broadcasts. The league donated more than $1 million and medical supplies to China earlier this year.

"During the recent Chinese National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, the NBA sent their well wishes to fans in China," CCTV said in a statement, per ESPN. "We also took note of the league has been continuously delivering goodwill (to China), particularly making positive contributions to Chinese people's fight against COVID-19 pandemic."

The Los Angeles Lakers have a 3-1 series lead and can clinch the franchise's 17th NBA championship -- first since the 2009-10 season -- on Friday night against the Miami Heat in the NBA bubble near Orlando.