After a crazy ending that resulted in a huge kick boxing, punching, and general handbags skirmish in the recent Chinese Super League (CSL) match between Beijing and Tianjin, all caught by tv cameras, CCTV has announced that it is no longer going to show CSL games and will limit or entirely stop its news reporting of the matches. It should also be noted that the now post-controversy match ritual of stoning the away team's bus by wannabe hooligans was employed. Chinese soccer, which rarely garners any mention in the foreign press now must deal with widespread negative press, as the story of CCTV's decision was picked up widely (I was shocked to see it first in the Guardian's "Fiver" this morning) due to an AP story on the subject.
What the AP doesn't mention is that this isn't the first time CCTV has stopped its live coverage of CSL matches, that matches will still be broadcast on local sports channels which are commonly received around the nation, and that in a Netease poll (part of this article), 65% of respondents stated that the CSL is so crappy that CCTV should have done this sooner, while another 30% of people stated that they never paid attention to the CSL anyways. Only 3% were unhappy with CCTV's decision.
This is sad as this has been an incredibly exciting CSL season this year, with Shanghai and Shandong tied at the top of the table with only a few matches left after Shanghai's heart stopping late goal victory last weekend (just wait for the cries, or worse, of match fixing). Chinese football is in a major funk, as was reported here recently, and this isn't going to improve the situation.
In somewhat related news, CCTV has reached an agreement with UEFA and will continue broadcasting Champions League matches for the next 3 years.