Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CSN Houston update

We are, as of the precise moment in which I am typing this, 60 minutes from CSN Houston's first Astros game. Yet 60% of viewers in the Houston area - and anyone else in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and eastern New Mexico - won't be able to watch it.

Best-case scenario? You get to see the remaining 17 Rangers/Astros games on Fox Sports Southwest. This is where we are: waiting to watch Astros games on the network of our "rival." We addressed your possibilities back in February, if you need a refresher on how you're getting screwed by everybody.

KevinBassStache linked to the MLB blackout map - so if you live in any of those areas, you can't use MLB.tv, MLB Extra Innings. You have to go through some shady online tv thing that will probably steal your identity and foreclose on your house.

So what's the update? Talks between CSN Houston and DirecTV, UVerse, Suddenlink, etc. are at a "Standstill," and though there was "a little movement" today, no deal is imminent. Crane advised fans to "call and complain or switch carriers."

That seems excessive. The Astros started a network that over half of their viewing base can't see because they can't get a deal done, which is not the fans' fault. Now I have Comcast at my house, and it's fine enough, but I'm guessing that those of you who have DirecTV or UVerse or Suddenlink have it for a reason, and that there are likely termination fees you have to pay if you end your contract.

This whole thing is stupid. DirecTV is stupid, UVerse is stupid, Suddenlink is stupid, CSN Houston is stupid, and the Astros are stupid.

Fact is, if MLB didn't have such terrible blackout policies, this wouldn't be an issue. You could just pay your $20/month during the season (if you had the disposable income, of course) and get MLB.tv or $200 (!) for Extra Innings, and go about watching the Astros. But they don't, because MLB's Advanced Media doesn't seem so advanced right now.