This is ridiculous. The timing couldn't have been worse, like so many things Astros, for a new tv deal. Over the weekend, David Barron posted an article regarding what is (or more accurately, isn't) happening with CSN Houston and what a complete trainwreck the network is.
SNL Kagan, a media and communications research firm, said that CSN Houston represents the new battleground between teams and television providers and, for the foreseeable future, is a "bust." The SNL Kagan report says it will be 2014 - at the earliest - for Suddenlink and CSN Houston to reach a deal, 2015 for DirecTV, and if you're a Uverse subscriber and want to watch the Astros then you are likely better off leaving Uverse for Comcast, because it'll probably never happen.
Why? Quite simply, Big Media isn't going to pay for something nobody is watching. And, honestly (the next statement is probably just a reflection of my mood at present) why in the hell would they? CSN Houston is projected to have "a negative cash flow" in each of its first three years, and won't be profitable until 2015. According to CSN Houston, they're in no danger of folding (but won't get into the financial health of the network).
Right now, Houston isn't watching baseball. Barron notes that Houstonians aren't watching the Rangers, either.
The Astros/Rockets signed with Comcast (who outbid DirecTV and Fox Sports for the rights) because of their greater reach? Was that short-sighted? Probably. Who wins this fight? Nobody.