SBD/December 4, 2012/Media

CSN Houston Still Seeking Distribution Deals With Availability In Only 40% Of Market

Comcast SportsNet Houston is “still working on distribution” for Rockets games, according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. CSN Houston is “available in about 40 percent of the 2.2 million TV households in the 20-county Houston designated market area," meaning a majority of area viewers are “in the dark on Rockets game nights.” CSN Houston is “believed to be seeking $3.40 per month per subscriber.” CSN Houston President & GM Matt Hutchings and Exec Producer & VP/Production Murphy Brown remained "as stymied as viewers by distribution delays.” Through 15 games, Rockets games are averaging 0.95 local rating in Houston, "which equals about 21,050 households,” down from a 1.45 rating for the first 15 games on FS Houston last season. Despite the drop, CSN Houston officials said that the audience “reflects higher viewership among those who have access to CSN Houston.” The net also has “gained traction for its three nightly newscasts and its pregame and postgame shows, all of which offer more detail than Fox provided." Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures co-Founder & CEO Chris Bevilacqua said, “To have 40 percent when you launch is pretty good. I think it will eventually lead to where most regional sports networks are, which is full distribution in their home territory. I suspect the same will happen in Houston. It’s too early to compromise. These companies (producers and distributors) do a lot of business with each other. That’s why these things tend to get worked out” (CHRON.com, 11/30).
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