The NBA bubble was ugly. Its ratings set historical lows, and by going full Rachel Maddow, it further divided sports fans. But from a revenue standpoint, it was a necessity.
According to reports, the 100-day, $180 million Orlando experiment prevented the league from a $1.5 billion expected revenue loss.
Unsurprisingly, even this NBA decision connects to its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. As the report notes, the NBA’s revenue had already declined once China removed games from the state-run CCTV network.
The propaganda channel punished the NBA for Daryl Morey’s tweet, which supported human rights in Hong Kong. This further explains why a CCTV broadcaster bragged when Morey stepped down.
“Those who hurt the feelings of the Chinese people will have to pay a price,” the propagandist proudly revealed.
To the NBA, its relationship with China and CCTV comes before Morey and any promoted social justice campaign.
Luckily for the NBA, since it continues to stomach the partnership, CCTV is back in the mix. During Game 5 of the Finals, the shameful relationship resumed.
As long as no one else employed by the NBA tweets the truth about Hong Kong, CCTV will give the NBA a boost next season. And it needs it.
While the NBA won’t know its exact revenue decline until audits for all 30 teams are complete, 40% of revenue comes from its gate, which may not return next season.
Revenue-wise the bubble was a win. Everything else-wise, it was an L.