DirecTV refuses CSN Houston’s free view offer
A DirecTV spokesman said today the satellite service will not accept Comcast SportsNet Houston’s offer to air the channel free of charge through mid-December.
“We’d be happy to make the channel available to Rockets fans for the long term, not just 45 days, if CSN Houston would agree to offer the channel to those customers who want to pay for it, or make it more reasonable for all of our customers to receive,” a spokesman said.
“Showing the channel then taking it down after the free-trial period would only cause frustration for fans and do nothing to help us reach an agreement with the network’s owners.”
DirecTV is the first carrier to respond directly to CSN Houston’s offer to allow all carriers access to the Rockets-Astros-Comcast-owned channel through Dec. 15, a period that includes more than 20 Rockets games.
CSN Houston made a similar offer last spring during Astros season, but most satellite, telco and cable providers allowed the free view to expire without even commenting on whether they would accept the offer.
Suddenlink said it was willing to accept, but only if it could air the channel in the Houston area and not across CSN Houston’s five-state coverage area.
DirecTV’s statement about making CSN Houston available “to those customers who want to pay for it” means that it would be willing to offer the channel as part of a sports tier but not as part of its expanded basic service across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. Practically every regional sports network that shows major league baseball, basketball and hockey games is available in its home market on expanded basic, including DirecTV’s Root Sports channels in Denver, Pittsburgh and Seattle.