Last week, we reported on the ongoing bankruptcy saga involving Comcast SportsNet Houston, the joint venture created and owned by Comcast Sports Group, the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets. More than a year after its launch, CSN Houston hadn’t reached carriage fee deals with any cable or satellite company in the Houston area, other than Comcast. That led to financial distress and to an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed by Comcast last fall.
Last night, AT&T and DirecTV filed a plan with the bankruptcy court to assume control over CSN Houston. As part of the reorganization plan, AT&T and DirecTV will create a new limited liability company with 1,000 shares — 40 percent owned by AT&T and 60 percent owned by DirecTV. The Astros and Rockets back this plan, despite giving up their ownership interests in the regional sports network.
If the bankruptcy court approves this plan, the new RSN (likely to be branded a ROOT Sports Network like other DirecTV owned sports networks) will negotiate new rights fee agreements with the Astros and the Rockets. Under the CSN Houston agreement, the Astros were scheduled to receive $60 million annually.