Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) has been home to the awards in Hong Kong since 1969. Its decision not to broadcast the ceremony this year was “purely a commercial decision,” a spokesperson said.
But the decision to drop the Oscars comes as two nominees — “Do Not Split,” a documentary about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and Chloe Zhao, who wrote and directed the drama “Nomadland” — face heated criticism in mainland China. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported earlier this month that China’s propaganda department ordered all local media outlets not to broadcast the ceremony live and to downplay coverage of the awards.
More background: Hong Kong has several other major local broadcasters, including Now TV, Cable TV, Viu TV and Open TV.
CNN Business has reached out to all four for comment. Open TV said it doesn’t have the broadcast rights to the awards show. It wasn’t immediately clear whether one of the others has acquired them.
Zhao, who was born in China, recently made history as the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe for best director. Her film “Nomadland” is nominated for several Oscars, including best picture, best director, best actress and best adapted screenplay.