In what may be the first of a series of meetings, Comcast SportsNet Houston and Suddenlink Communications executives will convene with the Houston Mayro Annise Parker on Monday May 20 to discuss carriage issues that have kept the regional sports network on the distribution sidelines with the MSO.
Last month, Parker called for meetings with providers as a means to jump-start talks for carriage of CSN Houston. Currently, the RSN, a joint venture of MLB’s Houston Astros, the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Comcast’s NBC Sports Group, only has deals with Comcast in parts of Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as Houston. It also has deals with a number of small providers giving it about 40% coverage in Houston, the nation’s 10th largest DMA with 2.2 million homes.
In addition to Suddenlink, with which it has engaged in some public disputes, CSN Houston has been unable to ink distribution agreements with DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Parker confirmed that the CSN Houston-Suddenlink meeting will occur on May 20. DirecTV and AT&T U-verse have agreed to meet with CSN and the Mayor, but the schedules have not been finalized.
Suddenlink owns systems in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico, the states comprising the RSN’s footprint.