Do Sports Still Need China?

Global outrage, broken contracts and shifting politics could change the calculus for leagues and teams that once raced to do business in China.

The rewards for international sports leagues and organizations are plain: lucrative broadcast deals, bountiful sponsorship opportunities, millions of new consumers.

The risks are obvious, too: the compromising of values, the public relations nightmares, the general atmosphere of opacity.

For years, they have surveyed the Chinese market, measured these factors and come up with the same basic math: that the benefits of doing business there outweighed the possible downsides. The N.B.A. might blunder into a humbling political crisis based on a single tweet, and rich contracts might vanish into thin

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