In an effort to find a workable solution to the CSN Houston impasse, Jim Crane had mentioned the possibility of streaming games online or having MLB waive the blackout restrictions on those who purchased MLB Extra Innings (or MLB.tv). Well, of course, that's not going to happen.
Extra Innings and MLB TV are for out-of-market games only, and MLB rules
do not allow for local blackouts to be lifted unless a local carrier is
not carrying a game in its home market.
And it was foolish to even entertain the idea that MLB might waive the blackout restrictions. Baseball is a game of precedents. One player makes a boatload of money, a similar player makes a shedload. So to think that MLB would involve themselves in breaking the restrictions on the arcane blackout rules for the Astros, and interfere with the potential revenue of CSN Houston, and not do the same for the Dodgers or Phillies is silly.
Enjoy another season of not watching the Astros unless you get MLB.tv and an IP scrambler.
Meanwhile, by the end of April, CSN Houston will owe the Astros $36m. So that's cool. One media observer:
They've discovered the perfect way to run a regional sports network. You just don't pay the teams.