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Monday, October 25, 2021

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Greater support from CSN needed to further promote growth of Houston sports


Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States. It is home to more than 2.1 million people, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and that’s not counting the suburbs of Katy, The Woodlands, League City, Pearland, Sugar Land, etc.

In short, there are a ton of people that live in the Houston area, and a large number of them support Houston sports teams.

Unfortunately, all of these sports fans are being deprived of their favorite teams because a regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Houston, refuses to lower their subscription costs for major television distributors and broadcasters, such as AT&T, Dish Network, and DIRECTV.

The Houston Dynamo has won the Major League Soccer Cup twice, in 2006 and 2007, and reached the MLS Cup Final in the previous two seasons, losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy both times. They are the youngest but also the most successful sports franchise in Houston right now — R.I.P. Houston Comets.

The Houston Rockets are one of the few franchises in the history of the National Basketball Association to win back-to-back NBA championships, in 1994 and 1995. In the summer, they captured the signature of Dwight Howard, a seven-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. He was to join the young core formed by James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Jeremy Lin in hopes of bringing the glory days back to Clutch City.

The Houston Astros were one of the most successful teams during the late 1990’s and mid-2000’s. After a change in ownership and a rebuilding of their farm system in the minor leagues, the Astros now boast one of the top five farm systems, according to ESPN Insider Keith Law. This bodes well for the franchise and will give their fans something to look forward to.

Present and future, it is a great time for Houston sports, and residents of Clutch City should be glued to their television sets to watch their city’s possible rise to the pinnacle of the sports world over the coming years.

Comcast SportsNet owns the television rights to all three of these franchises and it is taking a toll on the loyal fans who have stuck by their teams through thick and thin. CSN Houston is only available through Comcast, which accounts for about 40 percent of the city’s 2.146 million residents.

This is depriving fans from watching their favorite teams, and although soccer hasn’t fully taken off and the Astros are heading for their third straight year of losing 100 games, the Houston Rockets are one of the preseason favorites to challenge for an NBA championship. If fans cannot watch Dwight Howard dunk on opposing centers and James Harden cross over even the most skilled defenders, there will be an uproar.

Fix this, CSN Houston. Get a deal done and let us watch our sports. Don’t do it for the money. Do it for your city and the fans who gave you the support to launch this network in the first place.

In other words, come up clutch for Clutch City.

 Opinion columnist Euan Leith is a journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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