Welcome to the New Normal: Where Houston Sports Fans Can't Actually See Teams Play

Categories: Baseball, Sports

It's not the bankruptcy that's keeping CSH Houston off of various cable/satellite lineups. It's the sought after amount for carriage fees that's the cause of that (that and the fact that everybody's waiting for the network to die so they can pick apart the corpse). It's this same thing that's making the Dodgers unavailable to most of Los Angeles, and that's preventing most of Philadelphia from watching the Phillies. It kept the Padres off of many San Diego televisions last season, it's prevented the people of Portland from watching the Trail Blazers for seven years, and it affected the ability of large parts of New York City to watch the Yankees and Knicks in past years. The new normal is rapidly becoming one in which fans can't watch their teams on television, and with rapidly escalating ticket prices, most fans are also now being shut out from any kind of experience with their team of choice.

CSN Houston's not getting carriage across Houston and Texas until this bankruptcy matter is settled. It's possible that Judge Hughes will call the parties back to his chambers again and attempt to mediate a settlement, but there's no guarantee he's going to do that, or that there's any chance of his being successful. And with the network on life-support and the parties arguing over pulling the plug, there's absolutely no reason in the world for Direct TV to sign a carriage deal for any amount, no matter how high or low the requested carriage fee.

Welcome to the new normal Houston. You might not be able to watch the Astros lose game after game. And you can't watch the Rockets or the Dynamo. So just go get a second mortgage on the house so you can afford to take the family to Minute Maid to watch the Yankees this week, or else just watch the Rangers on Fox Sports Southwest. Both options suck, but that's now the way of the world.

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Quintin Outland
Quintin Outland

I believe a few weeks ago you advised fans to NOT watch (enjoy/support) the Astros this year? O.o So, what's your aim here????


I applaud the carriers who are standing up to the Sports teams. The teams and the cable companies put these deals together because they assumed that live sports (which are the only reliable way for advertisers to get in front of young male consumers) would allow them to charge whatever they wanted. Guess what? Without true money magnets like the NFL and maybe SEC football, they significantly overestimated their bargaining position and are now paying the price.

I am as big a sports fan as you will find, but am sick of what the whole mess has become. McLane runs the Astros into the ground, sells out and makes a bundle because of the promised riches of this TV contract. The new owner sells the fans down the river by changing leagues, stocks the team with a bunch of minor leaguers which leads to historically bad results and makes obscene profits because of his awful roster. Now he is crying because these profits are based on a house of cards and wants his money back. The Dodgers ridiculous player contract structure is even worse, though at least their fans can hear about a good team on the radio since TV will not be available for most of them either.

I hope that there will be a major correction in the next few years and some sort of rationality will come back to the process. Not holding my breath however. When the Astros start winning again, the lemmings will flock back to the stadium and help drive the mess to the next level.

Vincent Aurelio
Vincent Aurelio

They just want to make it easier for Houstonians to become fans of other teams or remain fans of teams in the cities they moved from. It's a brilliant plan. Anyone who cannot understand this brilliant plan is obviously unqualified to be a sports front-office genius.


Stopped attending Astro games in 2010

Very seldom if ever watched them on TV

Quit listing to the radio broadcast after Milo was ran out of Chicago.

I go to several Rice and U of H games each year and occasionally catch a Skeeters game.

Don't miss the juice box, $20.00 parking nor the sloppy play


Try the Dynamo. Affordable prices, approachable players and the only team in Texas that wins anything. Even if you aren't a soccer fan you will be after watching this team. Class act, grounded players and the best management in town.

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