This is a complicated story that may be a bit difficult to explain, but at it's heart, the success...or lack of success on the field by the Houston Astros has driven their Sports network to the brink of going out of business.
We'll try and explain:
Essentially, the Astros, the Houston Rockets (NBA) and NBC/Comcast combined to create a regional sports network (CSN Houston). It's something NBC/Comcast has done in many other parts of the country.
The two sports teams are the primary shareholders, but responsibility for the network falls to all 3.
And the problem is pretty simple.
They can't get the network cleared. DirectTV, Dish, ATT U-Verse and others want no part of the extra fee that would be involved in picking the network up. It can be seen by less than 1 million people in the TV market.
And that makes getting a favorable TV deal difficult. At best.
It also may explain why the recent Astros/Indians baseball game drew hashmarks in the Nielsen ratings.
You can read more about this from the Houston Chronicle RIGHT HERE
Here's what this boils down to:
It's a quest for more TV money by the teams (Astros/Rockets). Everything in sports these days is dictated by the amount a cable network is paying to broadcast games. It's how the LA Dodgers can have a $200+ million payroll. Same for the New York Yankees.
The Astros and Rockets aren't getting that kind of money. Unless CSN gets into more houses, they won't get that kind of money.
No, the network isn't going away. They can work through their debt. But the bankruptcy filing allows them to reorganize and find a better way to get more eyeballs and make more money. Houston Sports fans probably aren't thrilled about all this. But just remember Houston resident, if they get the network on your provider, your bill is going up. Whether you like the Astros and/or Rockets....or not.
Sadly, this is probably the one Astros highlight this season you'll all remember: