Houston Mayor Calls CSN Houston Carriage Dispute "Intolerable" As Opening Day Looms
Houston Mayor Annise Parker in her first extended public comments on the carriage dispute involving Comcast SportsNet Houston yesterday said that the impasse between the net and "major cable and satellite providers was 'intolerable,'" according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Parker said, "It’s a real shame that we can’t reach a businesslike resolution to a problem that keeps Houstonians -- who have paid for the venues that these teams play in -- from watching their hometown teams." She added, "It is about dollars. I respect the fact that a cable provider has to provide what they consider the best value for their shareholders and for their customers but, again, the taxpayers of Houston paid for these venues, we want the opportunity to watch the major league teams that we support play." Barron notes CSN Houston accounts for "about 40 percent of the 2.2 million television households in the Houston area." The comments come "less than a week before the Astros’ broadcast schedule launches" on the net. Parker also said that she was "concerned that Astros games on radio are moving" to 5,000-watt KBME-AM from 50,000-watt KTRH-AM. Parker: "These are business decisions by big league teams, and big league teams have to recognize that fans are part of the equation, just as the cable providers have to recognize that they are not just providing programming, they’re providing a service to the fans in the community. I find both sides, their stubbornness is problematic" (CHRON.com, 3/27).
WHERE IN THE WORLD? In San Diego, Matthew Hall noted city officials held their "second hearing in two weeks Tuesday to pressure Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable to end a yearlong impasse that leaves 185,000 county households without Padres telecasts." But TV execs offered "no hint that a deal was imminent." FS San Diego President & GM Henry Ford said that he was "unable to characterize the status of recently resumed negotiations." TWC VP/Corporate Relations & Communications Deane Leavenworth "echoed those remarks" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/27).