Why is the NFL's Play Into China Being Called Back?


Western content creators know that making deals and getting revenue out of China can be tough.

And it isn't just the little guys.

In December 2016, the National Football League trumpeted a deal to stream NFL games directly on Chinese online platform Sina Weibo (often called "China's Twitter"). 

By June of 2017?

That deal might be off - even before the 2017 pre-season's first kick-off.

In a statement released by China's all-powerful State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television on Thursday June 22, 2017, Sina Weibo and two other major Chinese online portals were told to "shut down" all of their audio-visual program services.

As reported in Bloomberg: "Unsurprisingly, Weibo Corp. dropped in New York on volume almost four times the 20-day average. The stock, down 11 percent at one point."

Why is the NFL's bold play into China being called back?

China-watchers have noticed a definite trend as the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party approaches in October of 2017

President Xi Jinping is consolidating power.

And, apparently the next few months are going to be tense ones for potential targets for increased official scrutiny - like Chinese University administrators and China's major global media players - even if the new attention temporarily distresses Chinese sports fans or roils the markets.

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