Jim Crane Wants the CSN Houston Matter Settled, and He Means It
|Will the Astros ever get a deal to their liking?|
Crane further mentions difficulties from this being a 20-year deal and the long-term consequences of the disaster that is the network and how this complicates settling the matter. Especially as how he still wants the TV deal to fund players just as Seattle's TV deal funds the Robinson Cano contract. But then he mentions other, possibly shorter, deals.
"It's a 20-year deal, and some of the offers have been for less than that," he said. "We're weighing those, and it'll be back in court here pretty quick."
This furthers my belief that a deal's close and that they'll be in court asking the judge to approve the reorganization plan. And my guess would be that the plan involves the Astros being bought out of their network ownership stake, with the team getting a new media rights deal giving it more money per year. It sounds as if the Astros would still like a 20-year deal, but that the other parties want a shorter deal.
What Judge Isgur would be asked to bless probably goes along these lines. The Astros give up their ownership of the network in exchange for a new media rights deal in which they get more money but have no role in running the network. The Rockets and Comcast probably remain as co-owners, with my guess being the Rockets get majority ownership and management control and Comcast handling the daily operations of the network. The Rockets can make any and all carriage deals. The plan will probably detail heavy short-term financial losses, but without the Astros ownership monetary demands to handle, the path to profits might be easier to achieve.
The caveat here is the same as always. I'm just reading the quotes, reading the documents and extrapolating from there. So I could be totally wrong about everything, and I probably am. And the other caveat is that none of this guarantees that any carriage deals will ever be reached with DirecTV, U-verse or the cable system of your choice. What such a deal would do is guarantee the Astros get paid, and that's probably the most important thing as far as some parties are concerned.