China State TV Removes English Premier League Games Amid Ongoing Diplomatic Row — Report

Man City vs Arsenal
Associated Press

Chinese state television is removing English Premier League soccer matches from their schedule amid the growing political feud between Beijing and the UK government.

CCTV, which has the rights in China, won’t be showing the remainder of the current season, per a Bloomberg report. The game between title winners Liverpool and top four team Chelsea wasn’t aired as planned Wednesday night.

However, according to multiple reports, the blackout didn’t extend to streaming services, with the game shown on Chinese video app PPTV, which inked a massive $700M rights deal to the EPL back in 2016.

The move comes amid growing tension between China and Boris Johnson’s UK government which has banned telcom giant Huawei and opposed new security laws imposed in Hong Kong.

This isn’t the first time sports have been caught up in political tension between China and western countries. Last year, CCTV dropped coverage of the NBA in the country after Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey made comments supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. CCTV still doesn’t air NBA games in China and NBA commissioner Adam Silver later said the crisis brought “substantial” losses to the game.

Relations between the U.S. and China further deteriorated this week, with President Trump’s administration on Wednesday shutting the Chinese consulate in Houston. Beijing has threatened to retaliate.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/07/china-state-tv-removes-english-premier-league-games-amid-ongoing-diplomatic-row-report-1202992808/