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Crane hopes Astros, CSN Houston can strike deal

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KRISTIE RIEKEN | October 9, 2013 05:19 PM EST | AP


HOUSTON — HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane hopes Comcast SportsNet Houston will agree to pay his team what he calls a fair amount for its media rights, and they can boost carriage after a season where only 40 percent of the city could view the games.

But for now the situation has gotten uglier. The network recently filed bankruptcy, followed by the Astros filing a motion to dismiss that case. The Astros say the network filed the motion to gain leverage over the team in the dispute.

Crane says the team can't take a "20-year bad deal."

He says the media rights deal is integral to the future of his team. He says the team's payroll, which was below $30 million this year, will be "significantly higher" next season no matter what.