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DIRECTV, Where's CSN Houston?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I've been hoping that DIRECTV would add CSN Houston by Opening Day for the Astros, but now I'm scared because DIRECTV doesn't even mention CSN Houston at its web site,, which has all their disputes listed. Does this mean they are going to add the channel or does it mean they've given up? -- Frank, Houston, Texas.

For those not familiar with the impasse, CSN Houston airs games played by both the Houston Rockets and the Houston Astros. (The Astros own 46 percent of the channel; the Rockets own 34 percent and NBC Universal owns the remaining 22 percent.) Since CSN Houston launched in October 2012, Comcast, the owner of NBC Universal, is the only major TV provider who has agreed to carry it.

There was a report several weeks ago that DIRECTV was set to sign up last October but the Astros nixed the deal, saying the satcaster needed to pay more. The Astros, Rockets and DIRECTV all denied the report.

Now, to your question about Yes, it's true. DIRECTV has dropped any reference to the CSN Houston impasse at the site, which is odd considering the site was set up to communicate any and all relevant updates about carriage battles. But, unfortunately, it doesn't mean that DIRECTV is preparing to add the channel. If you look deep - deep, I say -- in the web pages of, you'll find a page that says the following:

We continue to work with both the Rockets and Astros who own CSN Houston to make it available to our customers for the 2012-13 NBA and upcoming 2013 MLB season next spring. DIRECTV strives to provide all of our customers an unparalleled TV experience at the most reasonable value, and while the costs of sports networks like this one continue to rise, we remain committed to servicing fans and non-fans alike."

The page then refers subscribers to, which, of course, doesn't have any information about CSN Houston.

So, my assessment at this point is that talks between the two companies are as cold as they can get. And by not posting any information about CSN Houston at, the satcaster may be hoping that people will forget about the channel.

Note: After published this story this week, added CSN Houston back to the list of channels involved in fee fights.

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