SBD/March 5, 2014/Media

Astros' Jim Crane Expects Comcast To Make New Offer In CSN Houston Ordeal

Crane hopes the Astros can find alternative ways for fans to watch games
Astros Owner Jim Crane yesterday said that he "expects an offer from Comcast this week to buy more of Comcast SportsNet Houston, the troubled regional sports network owned by the Astros, Rockets and Comcast, or to lend it more money," according to Evan Drellich of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Crane described Comcast "as the '800-pound gorilla in the room' in the wake of the recent announcement that it will acquire Time Warner Cable" for $45.2B in stock. The merger, if "approved by federal regulators, will give Comcast about 30 million subscribers nationwide." Crane said, “The system’s broke. With the Time Warner purchase, they’ll (Comcast) be a $100 billion company. It baffles me that they can’t figure out how to get a $140 or a $150 million revenue business working in one market, when they’ve done it [in] every other market.” Crane said that he "still has hope the team can find an alternative way for fans to watch telecasts." Crane: “We’re still working with baseball and trying to look at an alternative to either stream the games in some form or fashion." MLBAM, the parent company of MLB.com, sells an "online package of streaming games, which can be accessed from a computer as well as portable devices, but local blackouts apply." Crane said that lifting the blackouts "could be possible." Crane: “That’s a possibility too, where you could get the games, you get the package where you can watch all the games and you just lift the local blackouts and you have people pay for that on a local basis. There’s three or four options and we really want the fans to see the games and leave this behind us" (CHRON.com, 3/4).
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