Shaq talks about Dwight’s “safe move” to Houston & calls H-Town “a little town” | Comcast vs Time Warner Cable
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Grown ups 2 stars Shaq, Adam Sandler and Kevin James were promoting the upcoming film at the Daytona International Speedway this weekend. When Shaq was asked about one of his favorite players to pick on, new Rocket Dwight Howard, Shaq jokingly started talking about Dale Earnhardt Jr and Danica Patrick before getting a little serious and addressing the Dwight Howard move.
”It was expected,” Shaq said. ”We’ve all been in L. A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston. That’s right, little town. I said it.”
The long line of Shaq haters that wish TNT and other endorsers and companies would stop paying millions for him to appear on TV, film, commercials, magazines or re release his shoes will probably be quick to call the Grown Ups star an immature baby or brat for speaking his mind (that’s one of his many jobs) but what he said is true.
A lot of others will be quick to attack Shaq for calling H-Town a small town especially those that just read about it and didn’t watch the interview (video above) but he’s not talking about population. He’s talking about the market. According to Bloomberg, Houston is the 10th-largest U.S. pay-TV market, according to data from research firm SNL Kagan.
What many people don’t know about the Rockets is how few people in Houston were able to watch Rockets games last year. If it wasn’t for the internet, NBA league pass and a few tickets, I probably would have only seen a couple games last year even though I live in Houston. The reason being is Comcast Sports bought the programming rights to the Rockets last season so 60 percent of Houston had to see the dreaded black out screen when they wanted to watch James Harden and Jeremy Lin via their cable provider.
“The Rockets have landed the biggest free agent in the world,” Comcast SportsNet Houston on its website. “Dwight Howard is coming to Houston.”
Comcast is celebrating Dwight’s arrival because they know the demand for Dwight and Rocket’s games will probably convince pay-TV companies such as DirecTV and Dish Network to shell out for the rights to carry Comcast’s Houston network for the first time.
From Bloomberg: Comcast is the region’s largest provider by customers, with about 684,000 video subscribers. DirecTV, Dish, AT&T Inc. (T)’s U-verse and Suddenlink Communications serve a combined 1.1 million subscribers, according to Kagan data. At $3.50 a month, Comcast could reap about $10 million annually by striking a deal for the regional sports network with all those providers.
As for the Lakers, some suggested that Dwight’s departure could result in a dip in Time Warner subscribers but I think Kobe’s return from injury and the loyalty of Lakers fans will be enough to not only maintain but boost ratings next year. That’s also a good thing because the Lakers make about $30 million a year in rights fees with Time Warner as part of the recent $3 billion 20 year deal with Time Warner. $3 billion? Only a big town can make a deal like that.
Back to the Shaq hater responses. I’ve heard a lot of people bring up the mythical story of Hakeem dominating Shaq in the NBA finals. To them I say please read this article: Dream vs. Diesel: 90 mins of the 2 battling each other in 1995 NBA Finals + the pay per view event that never happen. As for the others that put down Shaq for wanting to play with LeBron in Cleveland or joining the Boston Celtics at the end of his career, if you are willing to excuse Houston’s legendary Hakeem for wanting more money and then leaving to play with Vince Carter and end his near perfect career in Toronto, or Patrick Ewing in Orlando or Moses Malone in San Antonio then you have to excuse Shaq for his last stand in Boston.
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