Adam Silver estimated that the reaction from Daryl Morey’s retweet supporting protesters in Hong Kong cost the NBA “probably less than $400 million” in lost revenue during a press conference at All-Star weekend.
Silver added that he doesn’t think there is permanent damage between the NBA and China.
“It’s substantial, I don’t want to run from that. We were taken off the air in China for a period of time, and it caused our many business partners in China to feel it was, therefore, inappropriate to have ongoing relationships with us. But I don’t have any sense that there’s any permanent damage to our business there. … We accept the consequences of our system and our values. It’s not a position any business wants to be in, but those are the results,” said Silver.
NBA games were pulled from CCTV, with the amount of streaming games also reduced.
“I know that, from the data we look at, there continues to be enormous interest for the NBA in China, and my sense is that there will be a return to normalcy fairly soon, but I can’t say exactly when, when it comes to CCTV,” added Silver.
Silver also said that there were still ongoing discussions as to whether Team USA would play pre-Olympic exhibition games in China, or whether the NBA would return to China for exhibition games next October.
Team USA is currently scheduled to spend a week in Shanghai before heading to Tokyo for the Olympics.