Chinese state broadcaster CCTV aired its first NBA game nearly two years after the league was blacklisted.
The ban was imposed in 2019 after a team official, Daryl Morey, tweeted his support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.
China is the NBA's largest overseas market, with business operations there worth more than $5 billion, per CNBC.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has aired its first NBA game almost two years after the American basketball league was frozen out following a pro-Hong Kong tweet.
CCTV had blacklisted the NBA since Daryl Morey, then-manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted in 2019 in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests. The tweet sparked an immediate backlash, with sponsors and partners cutting ties with the NBA in the league's biggest overseas market, per AFP.
Since then, matches in China had only been viewable via the internet streaming platform Tencent.
The national broadcaster did not give a reason for airing the game on Wednesday and did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
While some fans celebrated the league's return to state television, other social media users slammed the broadcaster for having "no backbone."
On the Twitter-like platform Weibo, users said that the broadcaster was being "shameless" and "greedy for money."
The NBA's business operations in China are worth more than $5 billion, per CNBC. As described by The New York Times, basketball is the most popular sport in the country, with a market representing hundreds of millions of fans.
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