Carriage Issues Remain For CSN Houston Ahead Of Net's First Astros' Telecast
The Astros today play the team's "first exhibition game on its new television partner, Comcast SportsNet Houston," and with that, the RSN's carriage issues "enter a new era that may not be more intense for fans but certainly will be more widespread in its impact," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Unlike the Rockets' broadcast territory, which is "limited under NBA rules, Astros games can be seen on CSN Houston across a five-state area … except in areas where they're not available, which at the moment is most of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico." Money remains the issue "for companies that service about 60 percent of Houston's 2.2 million TV households that don't carry CSN Houston." Providers are "unwilling to pay CSN Houston's monthly subscriber fee, estimated to be an average of $3.40 per month." Meanwhile, Dish Network earlier this month inked a deal to carry FS San Diego, and CSN Houston President & GM Matt Hutchings said, "No disrespect intended to Fox and the Padres, but why would providers launch a network with essentially one pro team in a smaller geographic location and not launch this network?" He added, "They are not valuing the local fan base." Astros President George Postolos said that he is "determined to keep negotiating for what he feels is a fair market rate for the network." Postolos: "It has to be right for the long term. We need to get a fair market rate" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/28).