Update: John Royal, my colleague here at the Press who has covered the CSN story as well, pointed out to me via e-mail that one part of my story is incorrect. In fact, the Rockets can negotiate deals with cable providers and unanimous approval is not required. Only the judge must approve any deals put in place by the Rockets giving them much wider leeway in their negotiations with cable providers.
|The plot thickens.|
The Rockets, Astros and CSN Houston met in federal court this morning for yet another progress report on the Astros attempts to negotiate carriage deals with cable providers. CSN Houston is currently only available on Comcast and a handful of small cable system providers. They have as yet been unable to negotiate deals with major players like U-Verse, DirecTV, Dish Network, Phonoscope and others. As a result, only about 40 percent of the Houston area can watch Rockets and Astros games on TV.
This morning, according to David Barron of the Houston Chronicle via Twitter, the Astros agreed to turn over negotiations of carriage deals to the Rockets. Because the Astros filed a fraud suit against CSN and former Astros owner Drayton McLane after the last hearing a few weeks ago and because CSN was concerned this would interfere with their ability to fairly negotiate deals, the Astros passed the reins to the Rockets.
Additionally, the Rockets have a formal bid to buy the CSN Houston network. The bid has not been submitted to the court and no details were immediately available.More »