CSN Houston Still Bankrupt, Still Not Coming to a TV Near You
Presumably the bidder for CSN Houston was made known to Comcast yesterday. Presumably, of course, because nobody will comment. An order was sought yesterday evening seeking to prevent Comcast from divulging any details regarding the potential bidder. The parties are supposed to have a status conference with the bankruptcy judge next week.
Yeah, this whole bankruptcy still isn't settled.
It's time for this clown show to end. Either the network lives or the network dies, but this ridiculousness has to end. The network's been in operation for 22 months. That's two seasons for the Rockets and nearly two seasons for the Astros. Two seasons in which a large majority of the teams' fans have been unable to watch the teams play games on television. This is happening because the owners misjudged the market, misjudged price points, misjudged the willingness of the other cable/satellite providers to pay huge carriage fees.
The network was underfunded and given an unworkable management structure. It was forced into bankruptcy by one owner, with another owner fighting every step of the way. There's been a fraud lawsuit filed by one owner against a former owner. It's an ugly mess that nobody deserves to win and in which the ultimate loser will be cable/satellite subscribers whose rates will rise when this whole fiasco comes to an end.
But as ugly as CSN Houston is, it's not the worse RSN mess in the country. The new Dodgers-only RSN is not being carried by U-verse, DirecTV or Dish, leaving it reaching less than 40 percent of the Los Angeles market. Los Angeles-area members of Congress are requesting FCC involvement and trying to force a mediation -- the best Houstonians were able to get was an ineffectual attempt by Mayor Annise Parker to mediate a settlement.
Then there's the whole situation between the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals. An involved, confusing, contentious situation arising out of Bud Selig forcing the Montreal Expos to move to Washington, infringing on the territory of the Baltimore Orioles. Out of this was born a RSN, majority owned by the Orioles, airing the games of both teams. But the Nationals haven't been happy with media rights. Selig forced a mediation, the Orioles didn't like the results and now the Orioles have taken the issue to court despite Selig's wishes to the contrary.