Monday, July 22, 2013

Oh what do you know, CSN Houston might never really catch on

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.


Paul said...

I talked to DirectTV this weekend and got a "don't hold your breath". Shot a few emails to them, MLB and the Astros with my goodbye message. Funny thing is.. no one will care.

It has been fun everyone and this site is the only thing that kept me hanging onto being an Astros fan. But, I'm done. I don't even recognize the players at this point anyway. The Astros of old will forever hold a place and maybe one day. But not anytime soon.

Goodbye to some of the greatest fans in the sports.

Seth said...

I know Jim and Reid are having trouble getting this done, but let's not forget who rushed to get a TV deal started to drive up the asking price, Mr. Drayton McLane Jr.

Man, I tell you. Drayton has been gone for some time, but this TV deal that he started and the 2007 draft are the gifts that just keep on giving.

Ryan said...

There have been a lot of articles and discussion on the CSN Houston coverage in the Houston area, but what frustrates me most is that the Central Texas area seems to be largely ignored. I live in San Antonio, and I have friends in Austin and elsewhere that are unable to watch any games. A lot Astros fans in the area have no idea what's going on, and they just assume the Rangers bumped out the Astros on TV because they play better.

Our biggest disadvantage, however, is that we don't have the luxury of heading over to a friends house, or the neighborhood bar to catch the game. If I had the option, I'd likely have switched to Comcast at this point, but that's simply not possible anywhere within a hundred miles of me. It's really frustrating, and I wish they'd take some time to address the concerns of Astros fans outside the Houston area as well. Just an acknowledgement of Time Warner negotiations would be better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the "blame Drayton" in this case. Crane knew he was buying into a netowrk without carriage. If he did his due diligence, he should have understood the probable pricing of CSNH and structured his bid for the Astros accordingly. It was simply another asset he needed to price.

I fear that Crane's numbers were based on mis-pricing CSNH. That is all on him, not Drayton.

Anonymous said...

sad to see the astros organization **** up this badly. I mean, JUST REACH A DEAL. i love houston, but it's not a top-5 or 10 media market for baseball.

i love the astros. more than the texans. but houston is, and always will be, a football town. lower your asking price, astros, and let your fans WATCH your shitty team.

Anonymous said...

It will become a Catch 22. It won't be offered because nobody is watching and nobody is watching because it isn't offered.

Anonymous said...

Do the Rockets not even come into the equation! They are going to be good and if not good, exciting. People will want to watch. This has to factor in for CSN

Anonymous said...

I am guessing that the rockets is the reason that CSN is waiting this out. Perhaps a rush of subscriptions over the winter.

Jeffrey Thompson said...

You know what really stinks is that I am a ranger fan living in Addison tx, and I can't watch the astros when they play our division rivals Oak and LAA, I would love to cheer on and watch the astros beat Oakland especially in this tight AL west race, but because of selfish greed I am stuck, and I would hope that MLB.TV would get its act together and lift the blackouts for me as well.