DirecTV Tells CSN Houston Where to Stick Its Teams
Photo by Eric Enfermero Cable and DirecTV probably don't care that most of Texas can't see this on television.
DirecTV wants nothing to do with CSN Houston or the teams that broadcast games on that network. AT&T is doing fine without the network. So are the rest of the cable/satellite providers in the five-state CSN Houston market.
This is not news. The fact that most of the state of Texas does not have access to CSN Houston, the majority-owned Astros regional sports network, is evidence that the cable/satellite companies don't give a damn. But what is news is a DirecTV exec going on the record with the company's opinion of the network.
"Bankruptcy has complicated the process for the team and Comcast, but DirecTV remains willing and open to constructive conversation," Dan York, in charge of strategy, acquisitions and development for DirecTV, told the Houston Chronicle's David Barron earlier this week. "I certainly would like to bring the Rockets and Astros back to DirecTV, but it has to be at a price that is fair for all of our customers, whether they are fans of the teams or not."
Barron's story further clarifies the hurdles the network must clear for 100 percent carriage. The price point must change. The network must emerge from bankruptcy and stabilize. There must be a realistic understanding of the network's reach with the need for ownership to realize that the folks in Dallas may not want to pay for an Astros network, and that the folks in San Antonio and Austin might not be too thrilled to be paying for two separate RSNs showing different teams in the same league and same division.
"(CSN Houston) has and remains significantly overpriced compared to what customers were paying for the same games previously and the pricing demands for such large footprints, including demanding payment for customers who will never watch a Rockets or Astros games a thousand miles from the stadium," York said.
Then there's the important thing: The network has to offer up a better product. That product being the Astros -- due to NBA restrictions, the Rockets are not available to most of the CSN Houston five-state map. And until the Astros product is much better, the network can forget about getting rates that might be equivalent to what other teams are getting.