SBD/October 30, 2012/NBA Season Preview

More Than 1 Million Houston Homes Could Miss Rockets Opener On CSN Houston

CSN Houston carriage disputes may force some fans to miss Rockets opener
It is possible that "fewer than half of the 2.2 million television households in the Greater Houston area will have access" to CSN Houston in time for tomorrow's Rockets-Pistons game, according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. A network spokesperson yesterday said that “'active negotiations’ continue with local TV providers.” As of yesterday afternoon, CSN Houston was “available only on Comcast, the area’s largest cable provider, and a collection of smaller systems that together represent approximately 40 percent of the market.” A “significant segment of the market -- perhaps up to one-third -- does not have cable or satellite service, and Dish, DirecTV and U-verse account for at least 700,000 subscribers.” Rockets CEO Tad Brown was among those “left in the cold." Brown said, “The product is terrific. It’s everything we hoped and thought it would be. We were told this is the normal course of business as it relates to carriage discussions. We are optimistic that Comcast can work out distribution leading into our game” (CHRON.com, 10/29).

LAKERS FANS LEFT OUT: In California, Michael Lev notes the “first of 57 exclusive" Time Warner Cable SportsNet broadcasts of Lakers games is tomorrow night against the Trail Blazers. Lev: “For all those Lakers fans out there whose cable or satellite provider has yet to strike a deal with TWC -- a group that dwindled over the weekend -- I feel your pain. Your angst is completely justifiable. But the real message here is that some things are worth waiting for. Yes, the possibility of missing Lakers games that count absolutely stinks. But the long-term benefits of the Lakers' $4 billion contract with TWC clearly exceed the frustration of the moment.” If the TWC deal helps the Lakers re-sign C Dwight Howard next year, "a handful of missed games this fall will seem like a small price to pay” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/30).

TWC NOTES: MEDIA POST's David Goetzl reported TWC SportsNet will offer games in Korean via secondary audio programming, something the net believes "marks the first time the option has been available in the U.S. for an RSN." The net is "working with Radio Seoul on the initiative," which will begin next month. Southern California has the "largest population of Koreans in the country, with some 330,000 people" (MEDIAPOST.com, 10/29). TWC SportsNet yesterday announced that it has signed a deal with the WCC to air at least 15 live men’s basketball games this season. Nine of the telecasts will air as “WCC Game of the Week” matchups on Saturdays this winter, paired with a weekly half-hour program on WCC athletics. Meanwhile, Kurt Rambis will appear in studio on TWC SportsNet for select Lakers games this season. His first game will be tomorrow’s Lakers-Blazers game (THE DAILY).
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