Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2013) -
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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, DIRECTVPromise.com, 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,
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
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 DIRECTVPromise.com: 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 DIRECTV.com, you'll find a page that says the
continue to work with both the Rockets and Astros who own
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 DIRECTVPromise.com, 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 DIRECTVPromise.com, the
satcaster may be hoping that people will forget about the
Note: After TVPredictions.com published this story this
week, DIRECTVPromise.com added CSN Houston back to the list of
channels involved in fee fights.