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Tencent Sports Interrupted Live Broadcast of NBA Game because of Taiwan National Flag

China Tencent Sports suddenly interrupted a live broadcast of an important NBA game on Saturday November 9. The reason was that a member of the audience was wearing clothing with the Taiwan national flag printed on it.

Tencent Sports announced on the subtitles that the interruption was because the broadcast quality of the game between Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers did not meet the broadcast standards and it had to switch from the live broadcast to cover the game that the Portland Trail Blazers was playing.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that, afterwards, Tencent Sports reported the Heat’s game against the Lakers through subtitles only. More than 25 million people were said to have been watching the game at the time. Many fans posted questions in the Tencent sports discussion column asking what was going on.

The post-game highlights video posted on the NBA official website showed footage of an Asian man sitting in the first row next to members of the Heat who was wearing clothing that had the national flag of Taiwan printed on it. Since the live footage was from the NBA in the U.S., Tencent did not have control of the footage.

This is the first time that Tencent stopped the live broadcast of an NBA game following the instance of Rockets general manager Morey showing the support for the protesters in Hong Kong and triggering the first boycott of the NBA in China in early October. In that incident, CCTV and Tencent Sports stopped broadcasting the NBA’s China Tournament and almost all partners of the NBA in China stopped cooperating with NBA. Up until today, Tencent still has not broadcast all of the Rockets games.

Source: VOA Chinese, November 9, 2019