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Does CSN Houston Suck?


CSN Houston was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors… and sports, and as a sports channel he explored the streets of Houston, from Midtown to Spring Branch and… up to… The Woodlands. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at UPN20, at Houston Public News, at The Houston Post. These young men gave their lives. And so would CSN Houston. CSN Houston, who loved bowling. And so, Comcast SportsNet Houston, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Gulf Of Mexico, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

- My CSN Houston rendition of the Walter Sobchak (The Big Lebowski) speech

Before you get all hot and bothered over the title of this post. I asked the staff at House of Houston what they thought of the programming at CSN Houston. Here’s what they said:

Julian Perez: I had it for about 10 months, and just recently switched to DirecTV. What they do have is Leila Rahimi, and frankly, that’s all they really need.

Seriously though, they do have good programming. Their “SportsCenter” equivalent features a ton of content from radio personalities in Houston, i.e. Charlie Palillo, Lance Zerlein, Matt Thomas, who frequent the channel often. Obviously the channel is for Houston sports only, which is great.  I liked the channel, but Comcast and Xfinity’s service in general sucked so bad I couldn’t take it anymore. When I switched, I was banking on a tv deal getting worked out by Opening Day. It’s starting to look like that’s not happening though, which blows…

Euan Lieth: They have a “My Life” series that focuses on Houston athletes and their careers, that’s pretty good.

Of course they cover the  Rockets, Astros, Dynamo/Dash. Their of coverage of Rice and University of Houston athletics throughout the year was surprising. There was a heavy dose of signing day coverage on local athletes last week. They traveled around to different high schools where the top commits were signing.

Mac Wolff: I think they do a hell of a job overall. They usually have 790 AM and 610 AM square off in those, “ESPN-like” segments, which is pretty cool. There isn’t a ton of John McClain, which I always appreciate.

Adam Abramson: I mostly watch the Rockets games. They do have a show at 5 PM called SportsTalk Live that I like to watch on occasion.

I asked Twitter the same question. Here’s what they said:


Outside of our followers on Twitter, I found this while doing a quick search:

I found this very lazy Twitter page, as well:  

Judging from the above input, the programming at CSN Houston doesn’t suck.

Reputation sites have taught us that consumers are more likely to bitch about a product, over complimenting it. Which holds true in the Houston sports world. When the Houston Texans were rattling off win after win, in 2012, sports talk radio host would complain about the lack of calls they were receiving on air.

At this point, we know that things aren’t looking too good for CSN Houston. This channel and 120+ jobs, could all be leaving the Houston market before a majority of us have any seen it’s product.

Fingers can be pointed at everyone involved, with this monumental cluster [expletive]. Two huge problems coincide with the slow demise of CSN Houston.

First, the parties that should want this channel to work (Astros, Rockets, CSN), aren’t working together to come up with a solution. They are fighting over dollars. Which is fair and understandable. But someone is going to get [expletive] when this thing shakes out.


Secondly, the marketing efforts of said parties above, are a joke. Running ads on the radio that say, “I want my CSN Houston!” isn’t going to encourage people to call. It’s pretty absurd to think that people are going to pick up their phone and dial a number these days. I’m their target demo. Unless a phone call is important by my standards, I’m not picking it up. It is what it is, and the truth is, most of society is the same way.

What else has CSN Houston, done to try to save their life? Well, they have an online petition that has 111k signatures. Another time suck that’s not going to help them get anywhere.

At some point we need to question the creative team behind CSN Houston, Rockets, and Astros.

If they were serious about keeping this channel alive they need to strike the heart of lion. AT&T and DirecTv. They’re up against some pretty big giants, so they need to fight them together.

How? The CEO’s of these companies have email addresses, do they not? Stop adding these email addresses to a petition, have these people email the CEO’s instead.

Real consumers with real complaints, are valuable to these large companies. They have called our bluff. They know that customers aren’t going to leave their service for Comcast. If there was a significant enough hit to their bottom line, they would add the channel immediately. They’re able to word a price increase anyway they want.

Of course, the CEO’s of these large companies have a team of people that respond to these emails. But if 111k people sent emails over the span of a year, that’s 304 emails a day directed to either AT&T or DirecTv. Imagine the time suck involved on their end. That’s disrupting production. There’s an hour out of their day they’re not getting back.

If your job entailed replying to emails for the CEO, you would probably get fed up with having to hit copy and paste, 100 to 300 times a day, replying to people that are upset about this about not having CSN Houston.

A disgruntled staff replying to disgruntled customers. No CEO wants  those problems.

Obviously this means staffing the CSN Street Team with an iPad or tablet, and keeping someone at their table long enough to sign into their email and press send. Or just a crazy thought, having a consumer use their smart phone.

There’s also several guerrilla marketing strategies they could toy with, involving their sponsors. But that’s a post for another day.

I really think that everyone involved could be doing so much more. It’s in the courts hands now. Ugh.

CSN Houston doesn’t suck, the situation that they’re in sucks. When this thing is said and done, we’ll either say, “Thanks for wasting our time guys.” or “I have my CSN Houston!”

Follow writer David Barron for all the latest updates on CSN Houston.


Follow House of Houston – @HouseofHouston

Follow Marcus Chavez – @marcusdoesurmom

Tags: CSN Houston Houston

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