CSN Houston Owners Actually Agreed on Something

Categories: Baseball, Sports

astros-old.jpg
How do you know this isn't the current logo? It's not like you can see the games to see what the current logo actually looks like
CSN Houston is never going to get the carriage fee amounts promised by Drayton McLane to Jim Crane. Can a deal better than the one offered by Comcast last April be achieved? The Astros say no and point to the lack of success it had when the bankruptcy court placed it in charge of negotiating carriage deals. But isn't it more likely that the problem from that time was the result of all of the other carriers smelling the blood in the water and waiting for everything to fall apart?

At some point the bankruptcy litigation process will end. The Astros will lose the appeal and that the bankruptcy will stand. The Astros will then be able to appeal to a higher court, or the Astros can choose to accept the bankruptcy and act like grownups. It's in the best interests of the Astros to get carriage deals for the network, even if the deals do not bring in the money promised by Drayton McLane, because the Astros do not have any money coming in at the moment, but at the moment, any money has to be better than no money.

The Astros keep pointing blame at Comcast. And Comcast should probably share some of that. But the real bad guy in all of the scenarios is Drayton McLane. It's McLane who negotiated the media rights deal that Jim Crane says doesn't bring enough money to the table. It's Drayton McLane who set up the network. It's Drayton McLane who convinced Crane that the network's carriage fees are worth more than what they are, and it's McLane who convinced Crane that the profits from the network would make up for the media rights shortfall.

Drayton McLane has been sued for fraud by Jim Crane. It's doubtful that Crane can win that suit, but the odds there are better than the odds of getting the bankruptcy overturned, of getting another entity to give them a better media rights deal than the current one with CSN Houston, and of getting an immediately profitable carriage deal for the network.

It's time for the Astros to let this bankruptcy run its course because its for the good of everybody that this network survives. The Rockets want it to live, and so does Comcast. Jim Crane might not get as much money as he thought, but something's better than nothing. Put the focus on that lawsuit against McLane. He might not be able to win, but maybe he can put enough pressure on McLane to force a settlement. And maybe then Crane can recover some of what he overpaid for CSN Houston.



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