Even Wile E. Coyote Must Think CSN Houston Is Poorly Conceived

ACME.jpg
Was CSN Houston actually designed by the fine folks at ACME?
We've all seen the Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Those classic Warner Bros. cartoons where the coyote ran through the desert trying to catch the Road Runner. And we all remember the grand plans Wile E. would hatch, most of them courtesy of ACME and most being incredibly complicated Rube Goldberg contraptions that would invariably blow up at the last instance.

The CSN cartoon returned to the court of Judge Marvin Isgur on Wednesday. The parties were supposed to present to Isgur a reorganization plan. They were supposed to have done this last month, but couldn't. So after being granted a month's continuance, they once again failed to come up with a plan, asking the judge to give them another month's continuance, which the judge granted. But being as this whole thing had reached cartoon levels of idiocy, the request for continuance was not unanimous since Comcast objected, which was surprising as it's normally the Astros objecting to everything under the sun.

CSN Houston must have been designed by ACME and assembled by Wile E. Coyote because there's no other explanation for the joke that this thing has become. There's the partnership agreement that allowed any of the three partners to veto any agreement. There's the most favored nations status clause that lowers the price Comcast pays to carry the network lower than that of any carrier. There's the whole insistence by the Astros that the network be distributed over the same five-state network as Fox Sports Southwest despite the fact that Rockets games can only be aired over a tiny sliver of that proposed network map.

So it's no wonder that this thing has ended up in bankruptcy court. But then again, the Astros dispute the very idea of the bankruptcy despite not being paid rights fees in nearly a year. And there's the fraud suit filed by Jim Crane against Drayton McLane and Comcast. There's a judge who heard an appeal of the bankruptcy ruling who refuses to rule on the appeal. And there's the fact that time and time again, the parties have been unable to meet court-imposed deadlines to create a reorganization plan.

Wile E. Coyote wants to catch that damn Road Runner, but even he thinks this whole ACME plan is ridiculous. And it's probably pretty reasonable to believe that not even Daffy Duck would come close to signing off anything that's been generated related to this network.

One of the reasons for this week's continuance, supposedly, is that an offer has been made for the network. Supposedly, that is, because the media and public were not allowed in the courtroom for that discussion with the judge because details are allegedly confidential and a public disclosure could have an adverse impact. But if they're all worried about public disclosure, the real fear should be the Astros putting any details on their internal Ground Control database system because nothing stays confidential once it goes in there.


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