China's CCTV sports channel to show NBA games from Saturday: state media

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese state television said on Friday that it will resume airing National Basketball Association (NBA) games on its sports channel on the morning of Oct. 10, almost a year after it halted broadcasts of the competition following a diplomatic spat.

The broadcaster stopped showing NBA games last October after a Houston Rockets executive tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters last year.

A state-run CCTV spokesperson said it had taken note of the goodwill expressed by the NBA for some time.

“Since the beginning of this year, the NBA has made active efforts to support the Chinese people in their fight against COVID-19,” the spokesperson said, adding that basketball in China has a wide range of fans.

CCTV holds exclusive TV rights in China for the NBA, while tech giant Tencent Holdings has exclusive internet streaming rights in the country.

Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Pei Li in Hong Kong; Editing by Hugh Lawson