Sources: Astros Blocked a Potential Deal That Would Have Brought CSN Houston, Rockets Games to DirecTV

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According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Houston Astros, who are part owners of Comcast SportsNet Houston along with the Houston Rockets and NBC, nixed an 11th-hour deal with DirecTV that could have put CSN Houston on the provider and delivered Rockets games to its subscribers at the beginning of the Rockets season. Additionally, it is believed that such a deal, had it been completed with DirecTV, would have almost certainly led to similar deals with U-verse and Dish Network. Currently, CSN Houston only airs on Comcast and a few smaller providers which represent about 40 percent of the coverage area.

Without the approval of the Astros, who own 46 percent of the channel to the Rockets' 30 percent and NBC's 22 percent, no deals can be made. The Astros allegedly balked at negotiations between CSN, the Rockets and DirecTV before a final deal could be struck because they believed they could hold out for a better price. While the Rockets have been broadcasting on CSN Houston since October, the Astros won't have games on the channel until the spring.

It has been assumed for some time now that no final deals would be made until the Astros games were threatened. If the Astros did indeed block the Rockets from making a deal with DirecTV, it is easy to see why many believed no deals would be done until Astros games were on the chopping block.

If true, it would be an ironic turn of events for the Rockets. Astros team president George Postolos, who held the same position with the Rockets until 2006, was one of the first to trumpet the idea of a joint network between the Rockets and the Astros in the late 1990s when he was still with the Rockets. Now, as the head of the Astros, he could be the person preventing his former team and employer from airing their games to the majority of Houstonians, which has been an embarrassment to the Rockets, particularly with the All Star game being played in Houston this year.

Astros owner Jim Crane has been a somewhat controversial figure since he took over the team in 2011. He fired virtually everyone on the business side of the ball club and went through a housecleaning that affected the entire organization from the field to the broadcast booth, even redesigning the uniforms and logo.

If Crane and the Astros are responsible for keeping the Rockets off the air this season, it would no doubt infuriate fans of the Rockets who have been rightfully frustrated over the lack of broadcast options for regular season games.

The Astros referred questions to Matt Hutchings, president and general manager of CSN Houston, who responded with the following statement via e-mail:

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10 comments
timmy188
timmy188

Time for 100% of the fans to see sports in Houston, and not just 40%

ronald_theresa
ronald_theresa

We all need to complain to the Astros to lessen their demands on Comcast and get the deal done now  If not we will boycott going to any games this year or buy any of their merchandise.  We need to send them a message that we are both Rocket and Astros fans and don't mess with us.

adamdbrower
adamdbrower

Personally, I would prefer CSN to fail and we go with a different option.  I wish to no longer be apart of anything Comcast.  And for the record, AT&T has had, hands down, the best service and support I have even experienced.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Crane, Alexander and Conca$h all suck they're forcing a monopoly on the loyal fans only to line their pockets. Though if you dig deeper you see the ratings are the worst they've ever been, advertisers realize over 60% of Houston can't even watch the games so why bother. Plus there are protests scheduled for the all star game to show the rest of the US how much Houston loathes concash. Also only a matter of time before someone on city council gets involved, they play in taxpayer funded stadiums but have no problem sticking it to the loyal fans of Houston all to make a buck, with one of the worst companies in America.. Concash..

milehigh1
milehigh1

CSN: "We're offering two major league sports teams."

DirecTV: "Show us these major league teams."

CSN: "We offer viewers the Rockets and the Astros."

DirecTV: "I thought you said two major league teams. I only see one."

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

Please move the astros ..let them out of their lease...

Jason Stell
Jason Stell

If noone can see the Astros lose 100 games did it really happen?

HoustonRocketFan
HoustonRocketFan

Houston Astros Owner, Jim Crane is the worst thing to ever happen to a Houston Sports Fan. Crane has turned the Houston Astros into a minor league ballclub. Crane is now holding Houston Rockets fans who do not subscribe to Comcast hostage.

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