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SBD/May 20, 2013/Franchises
Astros' Reid Ryan Vows To Focus On Business Side, Put Fans First
Published May 20, 2013
CARRIAGE ISSUES: In Houston, David Barron noted Comcast SportsNet Houston is approaching its "ninth month without full distribution," and Crane said that the Astros/Rockets/NBC Sports Group partnership is "low on funds and faces 'tough decisions' about its future." Crane said that the net does "not face irreparable financial damage and will remain on the air, but the partners might have to make financial decisions if NBC is unable to increase revenue by closing carriage deals with national carriers such as DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse or regional carriers such as Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable." Crane said, "Without coverage, the network is not making money." The Astros own 46.4% of the net while the Rockets own 30.9% and NBC 22.7%. Crane said that "all options are on the table" for the net and he will "assume the Astros' position on the four-member CSN Houston board that was held" by Postolos before his resignation last week (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/18). The HOUSTON CHRONICLE noted the Astros Foundation on Saturday partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas for the "opening of three refurbished baseball fields at Ingranado Park" in southeast Houston (CHRON.com, 5/18).
FACE OF THE FRANCHISE: In N.Y., Bill Madden wrote the hiring of Reid Ryan is Crane's "effort to put a kinder, more human face on the organization." Ryan "figures to be a much more engaging front man for the Astros." But on the "other hand, Crane is said be one of the least liked owners in baseball and is only there because commissioner Bud Selig wanted to take care of his friend," former Owner Drayton McLane, by "getting him a record price for the Astros, and at the same time getting a new owner who, as part of the deal, had to agree to move the team to the American League." There was a "reason Selig rejected three previous Crane bids to buy a team" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/18).