PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

March 28, 2013

CSN Houston: "Less and less optimistic" carriage deals done by Opening Day

(Continued)

PORT ARTHUR —

“It is about dollars.I respect the fact that a cable provider has to provide what they consider the best value for their shareholders and for their customers but, again, the taxpayers of Houston paid for these venues, we want the opportunity to watch the major league teams that we support play.

“I just continue, on behalf of the fans, to urge everybody to come together and get it resolved. We can’t do much for the Rockets season, but surely we can get something done before we lose the entire baseball and soccer seasons, as well.”

DirecTV has been a vocal dissenter to the rise of new regional sports networks (RSNs) and has posted a statement on its website.

“We have yet to be able to reach an agreement with the owners of CSN Houston that allows customers to choose whether they want to pay to see Astros or Rockets games or not,” the statement reads. “We are ready and willing to have that discussion any time so we can begin providing this network.”

The main point of contention from DirecTV’s side seems to be where the channel is placed. While Hutchings declined to provide specifics on any negotiations, reports indicate that DirecTV wants to place CSN Houston on its sports tier, instead of providing it to subscribers in CSN Houston’s region as part of its basic package.

Hutchings discussed this in general, noting that Houston is the only top 10 media market that does not have an RSN on DirecTV’s basic package that carries local pro sports teams.

“In every top 10 market, regional networks are carried in these systems,” Hutchings said. “DirecTV carries local RSNs in every top market. It’s confusing that Houston fans are being treated unfairly. They are not being treated the same as other markets, like Dallas. We offered our network at a competitive market rate, which is a good value for the cost, which is pennies a day. Houston and Houston teams should not be penalized.”

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