Despite securing its first Oscar nomination since 1993, Hong Kong looks set to not broadcast the Academy Awards this year after local station Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) opted not to renew its deal.
TVB has been the home of the Oscars in Hong Kong for more than 50 years. Its sudden decision not to continue that arrangement follows reports earlier this month than Chinese authorities (which have tightened their grip on Hong Kong’s freedoms in recent years) had told media outlets on the mainland to downplay coverage of this year’s ceremony, a move that was understood to be in reaction to the nomination of Nomadland director Chloe Zhao (who has criticized the regime in the past) and the short film Do Not Split, which chronicles anti-Beijing demonstrations in Hong Kong.
There has been no confirmation of correlation between Chinese pressure and TVB’s dropping of the rights. In a statement sent to press today, the broadcaster said the move was “purely a commercial decision”. No other network has stepped in to acquire the rights at the time of publishing.
Hong Kong is competing in the International Oscar category this year for the first time since 1993 with Better Days, Derek Tsang’s drama about bullying in schools.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.