The Great CSN Houston Tax Scam

csn houston.jpg
The great CSN Houston tax scam
Everybody's pretty damn tired of the CSN Houston situation. Tired of being screwed out of Rockets games. Tired, maybe, of not being able to see the Astros get swept by the Oakland A's. Tired of watching CSN's Matt Hutchings constantly on the television and lying out of his teeth about who's responsible for this situation.

But leave it to the Houston Chronicle's business columnist, Loren Steffy, to get to the heart of the matter: The taxpayers have provided some pretty generous taxpayer subsidies to the Rockets, Astros and CSN. But with a reward of paying to be blacked out on television.

"What's more, Comcast SportsNet Houston itself, as [Steffy] wrote last year, got $1 million in tax handouts from the city for setting up here.

"Taxpayers, then, have already subsidized both the teams and the network, in exchange for a blackout."

The games aren't on television. Ticket prices are outrageous, the Astros make the Chicago Cubs look competently run, and Les Alexander has decided it's easier to make a profit not using Toyota Center than it is letting somebody other than the Rockets make use of it.

Steffy suggests in his column that maybe the Astros, Rockets and CSN should chip in a few bucks to cover distribution costs for the network, which in turn might keep cable bills a bit cheaper. Yeah, that's never going to happen, but maybe instead of demanding the satellite and cable providers show up for negotiations, Mayor Parker ought to be cracking down on the various pro sports franchises of the city and demand they start to do something in return for those millions of dollars they've scammed.

Instead of it standing dark for most of the year, maybe the mayor should demand that the Astros make Minute Maid Park available to Little League and high school teams when the Astros are on the road, especially to those intercity leagues and schools that don't have access to a decent field. And there's been talk of using the place for football games in the past, so maybe some high school teams can play football inside of it. And there's nothing wrong with letting the citizens of Houston and Harris County duck inside whenever they want to play games of baseball and softball. They did help to pay for the place, after all.


Location Info

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Minute Maid Park

501 Crawford, Houston, TX

Category: General

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5 comments
brutus1224
brutus1224

whats really going on here is that Les Alexander and Jim Crane or whatever his name is have this idea that Houston is a major market. Its not! Period! Houston will NEVER bring in what LA, NYC, Chicago, Miami...etc does in concert events. Houston may be one of the biggest cities in America and Texas but their concert market is crap. How many big name artists perform two or even three shows at Toyota Center? im sure probably none. Maybe a few here and there at the Woodlands but you are not going to see that in Houston. There just isnt that kind of money in Houston when it comes to concerts. Thats why LA, CHI, NYC and others get those multiple shows. Les has successfully aided in getting rid of hockey in Houston and his arena no longer hosts the circus or whatever so who does he plan to book? Katy Perry for 2 shows? Rihanna? One Direction? Foo Fighters? Not going to happen. 


i would never switch to Comcast just to watch the Rockets or the Astros. Glad I live in Los Angeles. i'd rather put on FSW and watch the ROckets lose to the Clippers and the Texans cry me a river because they cant make it. As for that big scoreboard.......sorry Texans owner but that wont put you in contention with Jerry Jones. Dallas is hated in Houston but that team has some real history in their city and they built that big scoreboard first. Its apparent that their only reason to get that scoreboard is to out do Dallas and try to get another super bowl. Seriously Houston if you want bigger sporting events do something about the traffic first!!!!! there are roads in Houston still under construction since I was in high school and im 37 now. Houston you will never be a huge sports or concert market.......

larrybradley
larrybradley

Why is everyone jumping on CSN and the other carriers? Why get angry with the Sports Authority or the Mayor? You want to know where the buck stops and who has the final say in this matter? You want to know who could end the blackout tomorrow? The owners, Jim Crane and Les Alexander. The Astros and the Rockets are their teams. If they wanted to make it happen, they could do it with a word. I hold Crane and Alexander solely responsible for the fact that I cannot watch the Astros or Rockets on television

MadMac
MadMac

SportsCorp: See, your city/county coughs up the start up costs and continuing maintenance and I keep all the profits.

Harris Sports Authority: Yeah, that sounds good. Say, I got a kid/brother/sister/girlfriend/wife who needs a job/contract/hookup, can you help?

SportsCorp: Why not? Your rubes--I mean taxpayers--are footing the bill anyway.

HSA: Well, it's not like we're elected or anything. That's the Commissioner's Court and by Bob Echols' ghost, they can do--or not do--any dang thang they want.

Yep, LA "losing" out to Houston on that NFL team doesn't seem like such a win for us right now.

Sandra Puente
Sandra Puente

Google Chrome won't let me open houstonpress.com because there is malware embedded in your blogs.

MadMac
MadMac

That should be "Bob Eckles."

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