Tennis-Major sports leagues are unlikely to comply with WTA sanctions in China

File Photo: Chinese Peng Shuai returns a shot against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during a women’s first round tennis match at the Beijing Olympics on August 11, 2008.Reuters / Toby Melville

December 3, 2021

Laurie Carroll

Los Angeles (Reuters) – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) shocked the sports world this week when it interrupted a tournament in China due to concerns about Peng Shuai, followed by a larger and more investing league. Is not expected.

WTA Chairman Steve Simon isn’t confident that Peng, the former world’s number one doubles, will be free to speak and move after three weeks of disappearance after accusing former Chinese top executives of sexual assault. ..

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the English Premier League (EPL) have far greater economic interests than the WTA, but are unlikely to face China over Peng, according to sports marketing analysts. It is about.

These two leagues, which have been criticized by Beijing in the past when members have expressed their political position on the issue from Hong Kong to the Uighur ethnic group, have not yet spoken about tennis players.

Victor Massison, a professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts and an expert in sports economics, said:

“That said, the NBA has a $ 1.5 billion rights agreement to broadcast games in China, and the EPL has signed the agreement somewhere in the $ 700 million range.”

Neither the NBA nor the Premier League responded immediately to requests for comment.

China has accused the politicization of tennis but has not responded to Peng’s assault allegations, saying her case was touted for malicious reasons and her at a mid-November dinner and tennis tournament. Pointed out the appearance.

Despite the withdrawal from China, the WTA can reduce the financial impact by moving the tournament elsewhere, as it did during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also increase its reputation in the West by confronting the Beijing government.

‘Gold gold’

“I’m not saying that human rights should be defeated by dollars and cents, but when talking about hundreds of millions of dollars compared to the WTA, it’s a much harder decision for the NBA and EPL to make,” he added. I did. Mathieson.

Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing analyst at Pinnacle Advertising based in the United States, welcomes the Beijing Winter Olympics in February and is most likely to be the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which aims to reassure the public about Peng. He said it was important.

“More than any of these leagues, they’re about money, money, money … Beijing gets even more intense with more protests and pressure from outside groups, so how all of this works. It will be really interesting to see. ”

Asked for comment, the IOC made two video calls with Peng, but said he would continue to support her and hold a personal meeting with the player in January.

Other large sports leagues may sing different songs if they are one of the players who are absent in China, but at the moment they can take a wait-and-see approach, Said Dorfman.

“If (Golden State Warriors guard) Klay Thompson went to China to promote his shoes and disappeared, it’s probably, but at this point a bit far away, and the NBA and IOC have too much money.” He said.

“These companies are all global and China has huge amounts of money. China is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. At this point it is very difficult for global companies to leave them. prize.”

(Report by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, edited by Andrew Cawthorne)

Tennis-Major sports leagues are unlikely to comply with WTA sanctions in China

Source link Tennis-Major sports leagues are unlikely to comply with WTA sanctions in China

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