CSN Houston Reaches Affiliate Deal with Texas Trio

Comcast SportsNet Houston is adding three small Texas providers to its affiliate lineup.

The regional sports network, a joint venture of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, MLB’s Houston Astros and the NBC Sports Group, said it has reached distribution deals with Buffalo Cable (available in Buffalo, Grapeland, Jewett, and Kennard, Texas), Ozona Cable (Ozona, Sterling City, Eldorado, and Mertzon, Texas), and Telecom Cable (Freeport and Fulshear, Texas).

Deal terms were not disclosed.

CSN Houston said Telecom Cable is already providing the channel in the Fulshear area and will launch it in the Freeport shortly.

For its part, Ozona Cable is expected to launch CSN Houston within the next week, while Buffalo Cable will roll the service out on August 1.

None of the abovementioned carriers participated in CSN Houston's 37-day freeview that expires today. A spokesman for the RSN said officials are continuing to negotiate with the three providers that have aired the free preview, Mid-Coast Cablevision, Texas Mid-Gulf Cablevision and Bay City Cablevision.

The RSN has carriage on Comcast in parts of Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as Houston, and deals with small providers, Coastal Link, Consolidated Communications, EnTouch, Phonoscope and Telecom Cable. All told, CSN Houston has about 40% coverage in Houston, the nation’s 10th largest DMA with 2.2 million TV homes.

"Our primary goal is to be the best regional sports network available, providing the highest quality coverage of our professional, collegiate and high school product," said CSN president and general manager Matt Hutchings in a statement. "By providing the best coverage, we are confident that the customers of our affiliate partners will be pleased with CSN. Ultimately, our goal is to make our customers, the fans, happy and help our affiliate partners grow their business. As our region includes all of Texas as well as Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and parts of New Mexico, we want to ensure that fans throughout our entire geography have access to the channel."

CSN has yet to ink pacts with such major providers as DirecTV, Dish, Suddenlink and AT&T U-verse.