CSN Houston may not be in DirectTV's lineup but it is in Federal Bankruptcy Court. So...you know...there's that. A federal bankruptcy judge placed the parent company of Comcast SportsNet Houston under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
So what does it all mean? Well essentially it means that there is a chance for the network to become profitable, a chance that would have been blow'd up had the Judge dismissed the case. Here's what's interesting, the Astros wanted the case dismissed; Comcast and the Rockets wanted to keep in court. The Astros can't even win in court. The jokes write themselves. The Astros are appealing the decision.
So now everyone has to sit at a table and work out a way to make this thing work as the 'Stros, Rockets, and Comcast ponder reorganization. A key to that plan will be arranging the carriage agreements for such major carriers as DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse and Suddenlink. CSN Houston at present is available to only about 40% of the Houston area’s 2.2 million TV households.
What this really means is that now all parties have to act in the best interest of bankrupted estate, and not do what they believe is best for each individual brand. The Astros are going to love this.
Astros boss Jim Crane, himself no stranger to federal court, has complained that the only proposal presented to the board by Comcast/NBC would result in the loss of up to $200 million for the network over a decade, potentially wiping out the Astros’ and Rockets’ equity.
Now for the bad news, the Astros and Rockets each claim they are owed more than $27 million in unpaid rights fees by Comcast SportsNet Houston, according to documents filed Monday. The Astros, who were not paid their rights fees for the final three months of the 2013 season, are owed $27,898,563, and the Rockets, who have not been paid this season, are owed $27,683,693. That's Dwight Howard money.
All this begs the question: Do you really want your CSN Houston?