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Comcast SportsNet Houston

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by TravelFan1, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. SChonson

    SChonson New Member

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    Mar 6, 2012
    .....I would've watched it if I could.
     
  2. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    And they thought the Astros would.increase demand for the channel?


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  3. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    The Astros are on the verge of setting a third consecutive single-season franchise record for losses, which, unfortunately, is pretty much the highlight of the year for them. Needless to say, it doesn't get much sadder than that.
     
  4. Rob37

    Rob37 Active Member

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    Every team in Baseball this year that is carried by Comcast Sportsnet has been terrible with the exception of the Oakland A’s. The Cubs & White Sox (carried by Comcast Sportsnet Chicago) will both finish in Last Place. The Astros (Comcast Sportsnet Houston) will finish in last place. The Phillies (Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia) will finish probably in 4th place, and the San Francisco Giants (Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area) will finish probably in 4th place in the NL West. Terrible year for teams on Comcast Sportsnets in Local Markets!
     
  5. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    Chicago has the bears, hawks, and bulls.
     
  6. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Add the Mets and SNY, which is really a different brand for CSN and as much a partnership as CSN Chicago. (Name is different because Time Warner has a stake.)
     
  7. jagrim

    jagrim Hall Of Fame

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    Just heard on TV news that CSN Houston has filed for bankruptcy.


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  8. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2013/09/bankruptcy-petition-filed-on-behalf-of-comcast-sportsnet-houston/?cmpid=hpbn

    CSN Houston bankruptcy filing surprises Astros

    Affiliates of Comcast/NBC Universal filed an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Friday in Houston against Comcast SportsNet Houston, the struggling regional sports network owned by Comcast/NBC Universal, the Rockets and Astros.

    The action apparently came as a surprise to the Astros, who are the largest owner in the partnership at 46.384 percent, and said in a statement that they they also had issues with CSN Houston’s failure to pay rights fees to the Astros for the last three months.

    The Rockets, who own about 30.923 percent, have no comment on the issue. NBC Universal owns 22.693 percent.

    A statement from NBC, however, indicated that the filing may be designed to break up the logjam that has thus far prevented the network from getting widespread carriage on cable and satellite affiliates across its five-state region. Under the company’s governance structure, unanimous consent among the four-member board of directors – two from NBC Universal and one each from the Rockets and Astros – is required for approval, according to comments made by company officials earlier this year.

    The NBC Universal statement said the Chapter 11 petition was filed “in order to resolve structural issues affecting CSN Houston’s partnership.”

    “This action is necessary to preserve CSN Houston’s ability to provide its valuable programming and reaffirms Comcast/NBC Universal’s commitment to serving the region and its fans,” the statement added.

    An NBC Universal spokesman would not elaborate beyond the statement.

    In a two-paragraph statement issued Friday night, the Astros indicated that they had issues with the NBC Universal-Rockets-Astros partnership that also could have led to litigation or, at least, potential changes in the partners’ relationship.
    “Comcast has improperly filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition in an attempt to prevent the Astros from terminating the Media Rights Agreement between the Astros and Houston Regional Sports Network,” the statement said. “HRSN failed to pay the Astros media rights fees in July, August and September, and we have invested additional money in order to keep the network viable through our season.

    “Despite not receiving our media rights fees, our objective has not changed. We will continue to work toward obtaining full carriage so that all of our fans are able to watch the Astros games while making sure that the Astros are able to compete for championships.”

    HSRN is the partnership between the Astros and Rockets that was established in the early 2000s for the teams to market their media rights. The teams at one point attempted to start a regional sports network in 2003 before reaching a new rights deal with Fox Sports Southwest that expired last year.

    The network will remain on the air while the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure is resolved. Chapter 11 is designed to allow companies to remain in business while their business activities are reorganized.

    CSN Houston is available in only about 40 percent of Houston’s 2.2 million TV households and has not been able to negotiate carriage agreements with DirecTV, Dish Network, Suddenlink, AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS.

    The network reached a low this past Sunday when its broadcast of the Astros-Indians game registered a 0.0 rating by the Nielsen Co.

    Listed as petitioning creditors in the case are National Digital Television Center of Centennial, Colo., which is owed $10,517.50; Comcast Sports Management Services LLC, which is owed $1,251,573.75 for management services; Comcast SportsNet California, which is owed $43,129.02; and Houston SportsNet Finance, based in Philadelphia, which has a $100 million loan to the partnership plus accrued and unpaid interest, fees, and other amounts.
     
  9. jagrim

    jagrim Hall Of Fame

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    Affiliates of Comcast/NBC Universal filed an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Friday in Houston against Comcast SportsNet Houston, the struggling regional sports network owned by Comcast/NBC Universal, the Rockets and Astros.

    The action apparently came as a surprise to the Astros, who are the largest owner in the partnership at 46.384 percent, and said in a statement that they they also had issues with CSN Houston’s failure to pay rights fees to the Astros for the last three months.

    The Rockets, who own about 30.923 percent, have no comment on the issue. NBC Universal owns 22.693 percent.

    A statement from NBC, however, indicated that the filing may be designed to break up the logjam that has thus far prevented the network from getting widespread carriage on cable and satellite affiliates across its five-state region. Under the company’s governance structure, unanimous consent among the four-member board of directors – two from NBC Universal and one each from the Rockets and Astros – is required for approval, according to comments made by company officials earlier this year.

    The NBC Universal statement said the Chapter 11 petition was filed “in order to resolve structural issues affecting CSN Houston’s partnership.”

    “This action is necessary to preserve CSN Houston’s ability to provide its valuable programming and reaffirms Comcast/NBC Universal’s commitment to serving the region and its fans,” the statement added.

    An NBC Universal spokesman would not elaborate beyond the statement.

    In a two-paragraph statement issued Friday night, the Astros indicated that they had issues with the NBC Universal-Rockets-Astros partnership that also could have led to litigation or, at least, potential changes in the partners’ relationship.

    “Comcast has improperly filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition in an attempt to prevent the Astros from terminating the Media Rights Agreement between the Astros and Houston Regional Sports Network,” the statement said. “HRSN failed to pay the Astros media rights fees in July, August and September, and we have invested additional money in order to keep the network viable through our season.

    “Despite not receiving our media rights fees, our objective has not changed. We will continue to work toward obtaining full carriage so that all of our fans are able to watch the Astros games while making sure that the Astros are able to compete for championships.”

    HSRN is the partnership between the Astros and Rockets that was established in the early 2000s for the teams to market their media rights. The teams at one point attempted to start a regional sports network in 2003 before reaching a new rights deal with Fox Sports Southwest that expired last year.

    The network will remain on the air while the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure is resolved. Chapter 11 is designed to allow companies to remain in business while their business activities are reorganized.

    CSN Houston is available in only about 40 percent of Houston’s 2.2 million TV households and has not been able to negotiate carriage agreements with DirecTV, Dish Network, Suddenlink, AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS.

    The network reached a low this past Sunday when its broadcast of the Astros-Indians game registered a 0.0 rating by the Nielsen Co.

    Listed as petitioning creditors in the case are National Digital Television Center of Centennial, Colo., which is owed $10,517.50; Comcast Sports Management Services LLC, which is owed $1,251,573.75 for management services; Comcast SportsNet California, which is owed $43,129.02; and Houston SportsNet Finance, based in Philadelphia, which has a $100 million loan to the partnership plus accrued and unpaid interest, fees, and other amounts.


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  10. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Gee, who saw this coming? Put all the lawyers involved and Jim Crane in a small closet and, well, just leave them there forever, and just start over. No one will miss a single one of them. What a bunch of ignorant dolts.
     
  11. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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  12. TXD16

    TXD16 Icon

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    $1.2 million is a pittance in professional sports, something akin to a second-year player's base salary after a mediocre first year.

    This is all about Crane's narcissism and greed (remember the comment early on about writing a $10 million check?). Had this carriage deal been presented, proposed, and negotiated in good faith, instead of the all-or-nothing way it was presented to the major MVPDs, the dope Crane would be sitting pretty right now, rather than sitting on the end of his bed asking himself where it all went wrong. He's an absolute moron.
     
  13. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2013/09/csn-houston-faces-total-gridlock-comcastnbc-wants-bankruptcy-trustee-to-oversee-troubled-network/

    CSN Houston faces ‘total gridlock;’ Comcast/NBC wants bankruptcy trustee to oversee troubled network

    Comcast SportsNet Houston faces an “urgent financial and corporate government crisis” and cannot pay its bills because of “total gridlock” among its three partners – the Astros, Rockets and Comcast/NBC Universal, according to a federal bankruptcy court petition filed Saturday.

    Three units of Comcast/NBC Universal and a fourth television-related company filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition Friday against CSN Houston, the financially struggling regional sports network that telecasts Astros, Rockets and Dynamo games.

    NBC Universal said in a statement that the action was “necessary to preserve CSN Houston’s ability” to remain in business. The Astros replied in a statement that the Chapter 11 filing was improper but also acknowledged that CSN Houston has not paid broadcast rights fees to the Astros for the last three months.

    Early Saturday, the network’s creditors asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur to appoint an interim trustee to oversee network operations while the bankruptcy petition winds its way through court.

    Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows companies to continue operations while the court deals with creditors’ claims, so network will remain on the air while the case is contested.

    In fact, Comcast said in one document filed Saturday that if the bankruptcy court sees fit, it would be willing to buy the entire network and continue in business under the CSN Houston name. The Astros currently own about 46 percent of the network, the Rockets own about 31 percent and Comcast/NBC Universal owns 22 percent.

    The sharp disputes between the Astros and Comcast/NBC Universal were made clear by their Friday statements. Saturday’s filings provide more thorough detail into the ongoing disputes over critical issues, including the inability to reach affiliation agreements with such carriers as DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse.

    However, those documents are heavily edited or redacted to prevent public disclosure of what Comcast/NBC Universal describes as “commercial information” that it claims would damage CSN Houston if it is disclosed publicly.

    Among the few comments that have not been shielded from public view is a reference to “the deadlock among the parties (that) has thwarted all efforts to engage in any constructive exercise to salvage the Network.”

    “The question before this court is by no means who is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in the various disagreements that have arisen among the parties,” the petition continues. “This bankruptcy filing is not an effort to have this court adjudicate any such dispute … (but) to preserve the going concern value of the network.”

    Another section of the petition refers to disputes that have created “total gridlock” for the network. CSN Houston has a four-member board – one representative each from the Rockets and Astros and two from Comcast/NBC Universal – and all parties must agree for deals such as carriage agreements to be reached.

    But the disagreements among the parties are so sharp, the petition said, that they “go beyond mere acrimony” and that the board “will continue to be working at ‘cross-purposes’” unless a trustee is appointed by the bankruptcy court to oversee CSN Houston while the parties sort out their differences.

    “It is clear that the network cannot operate its business or preserve itself as a going concern under its current corporate governance structure, which has resulted in an irreconcilable impasse,” the petition said.

    The primary creditor seeking to force bankruptcy is Houston SportsNet Finance, a unit of Comcast that provided a $100 million loan to ramp up the network’s launch last Oct. 1 and to fund construction of the network’s studios in downtown Houston.

    Robert S. Pick, senior vice president of Houston SportsNet Finance, said the company remains confident in CSN Houston’s value as a going concern. In fact, he said in a document filed with the bankruptcy court, “Comcast Lender … would be prepared to make a bid to acquire either the network (under a plan of reorganization) or substantially all of its assets.

    Since it launched last October, CSN Houston has now gone through a complete Rockets season and into the final week of the Astros’ 2013 season without being able to negotiate carriage agreements with major satellite and telco carriers.

    Astros owner Jim Crane has been outspoken in his conviction that the future well-being of the Astros and Rockets depends on reaching agreements that he believes reflect fair market value for CSN Houston.

    The network launched an “I Want My CSN Houston” advertising blitz last year, and Mayor Annise Parker arranged meetings with officials of DirecTV, Time Warner and Suddenlink in an attempt to assist in agreements but to no avail.

    Fans, meanwhile, have reacted angrily to the limited distribution of Astros and Rockets games, which have been widely available since the 1980s on Fox Sports Southwest, the teams’ former carrier.

    Although the Astros’ season ends this weekend, fan angst about missing another season of Rockets games on CSN Houston is expected to shift into a higher gear over the next few weeks with the approach of the team’s first season with free-agent acquisition Dwight Howard in the lineup.
     
  14. Mariah2014

    Mariah2014 Breaking the mold

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    Somewhere...
    I have feeling what the Rockets owner was against. CSN Northwest was added to Charter cable here for the first time in the Northwest. They did not add it to the because it will be in a higher tier than root Sports. I suspect that Comcast was willing to do something similiar in most, if not all areas, that CSN Houston would be in with other companies.
     
  15. SChonson

    SChonson New Member

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Haha I can't say I feel sorry for CSN Houston.

    EDIT: Just found out nothing is really happening from this. Well damn.
     
  16. Snickering Hound

    Snickering Hound Mentor

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    Nov 3, 2011
    http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2013/09/jim-crane-astros-will-fight-bankruptcy-case-against-comcastsportsnet-houston/?cmpid=hpts

    Jim Crane: Astros will fight bankruptcy case against ComcastSportsNet Houston

    Astros owner Jim Crane said today that the Astros will fight efforts by creditors to drive Comcast SportsNet Houston into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the team’s chief legal counsel said elements of Comcast/NBC Universal have acted improperly by throwing partnership disputes into federal bankruptcy court.

    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur will hold a hearing this afternoon to determine whether an interim trustee should be appointed to oversee Houston Regional Sports Network, the corporate name for CSN Houston, which is owned by the Astros, Rockets, and Comcast/NBC Universal.

    Several Comcast/NBC affiliates filed Friday an involuntary bankruptcy petition seeking to reorganize the company and CSN Houston, which has been unable to reach distribution agreements with most major satellite, cable and telco carriers to show Astros and Rockets games.

    However, Crane and Giles Kibbe, the Astros’ general counsel, said in an interview today that CSN Houston is solvent, that the case does not belong in bankruptcy court and the Astros “are not going to let those folks (Comcast/NBC) bully us around.”

    “This is not a bankruptcy situation,” Kibbe said. “There are no creditors that are owed money at this point other than the Astros. This is a partnership disagreement over multiple agreements between the Astros and Comcast.”
    Crane and Kibbe said the Astros, in fact, are the wounded party in this case. The team has not been paid its rights fees by CSN Houston for three months and, under the contract with Conmcast/NBC, should have the right to get back its broadcast rights and arrange another way to get Astros games on TV on such carriers as DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse.

    That transaction, however, is now blocked by the involuntary bankruptcy filing. Kibbe said the Astros will file a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case, but a hearing on that matter will not be held for several weeks.
    The Astros’ season is done, but the Rockets begin their regular season in late October, and it is uncertain as to how the bankruptcy filling will affect efforts to gain carriage for CSN Houston. The Rockets have not commented on the involuntary bankruptcy filling.

    “We’re fighting for money to improve the team,” Crane said. “We’re not the bad guys here, in my opinion. We want to get what they (Comcast/NBC) told us they were going to give us. That’s enough.”

    Crane and Kibbe said they believe that the goal of Comcast/NBC, which owns about 20 percent of the company, is to gain full control of CSN Houston by wiping out the Astros’ 46 percent share of the company and, through bankruptcy court reorganization, tying the team to a lesser rights fee that Crane said would damage the Astros’ chances of making enough money to field a competitive team.

    Kibbe said the Astros will argue today that NBC/Comcast engaged in collusion with its affiliated companies to drive CSN Houston into bankruptcy and that the network has $7.7 million in the bank as of today.

    Other highlights of the Crane/Kibbe interview:

    - Comcast/NBC offered last week to buy the Astros’ equity in CSN Houston, but the Astros refused and made a counteroffer that Comcast/NBC turned down. The Astros made a second counteroffer but have yet to receive a response.

    – Crane said that if the Astros are able to receive their broadcast rights back from Comcast/NBC, he has a plan to have games fully distributed next season. He did not say who would be his partner or partners in this venture.

    – Comcast/NBC, Crane said, “is trying to get this (network) on the cheap, and we’re not going to let that happen. And the reason we’re not going to let that happen is that it would be detrimental to the franchise.”

    – Crane emphasized several times that the Astros “want fans to see the games. I’m going to do everything in my power, no matter what happens, to get the games on in some form or fashion.”

    – Kibbe said the Astros had to return 46 percent of their monthly rights fee payments for May and June to keep the network financially solvent and have not received any payments for July, August or September.

    – Crane said the team was scheduled to receive “in the $50 million range” for rights fees this year. Kibbe, however, said the team has received “in the teens” from CSN Houston and has been paid less money for TV rights this year than any team in Major League Baseball.

    – Crane, who noted that he inherited the CSN Houston partnership when he bought the Astros from Drayton McLane, said Comcast/NBC “told us they could hit their (business) plan, and so did the Astros. They (Comcast/NBC) haven’t executed.”

    – Kibbe said Comcast has never told the Astros that the network had creditors who were not being paid. “No one came to Houston Regional Sports Network and said this is an issue. This was a collusive, bad faith (bankruptcy) filing.”

    – Crane said the company rule requiring unanimous decisions on major issues, including affiliation agreements, was necessary because “otherwise w would have been outvoted and would have been down the road with a bad deal for the Astros.” Kibbe said the team “would be stuck in a 20-year deal that would put us in a situation to have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.”

    – Crane said he is aware of fan discontent but that the team is sticking with its plan and believes the foundation is in place for improvement. He said signing free agents for the 2013 season would been a mistake because “I don’t think we could have spent enough to make a difference, based on where we were at the time. It would have been a big blow to sign three or four players for, call it, $40 million.”
     
  17. sum_random_dork

    sum_random_dork Icon

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Just a guess here-NBC Sports/Comcast filed for bankruptcy because they want out of the deal with The Astros. If I recall, wasn't it the Astros that killed the "almost" deal before the season started for CSN to be carried by more providers? Plus, when you see the #s that the Astros games were pulling (.0%) over the last few weeks it seems to me that Comcast didn't want to deal with the Astros and their ownership killing the channel. The Rockets should be a really good team that people will want to see. Much easier to negotiate a contract when you have a property people want to see and don't have another owner looking over and saying they want more money why they barely spend $30 million on their payroll on the field.

    That is just my guess, you will see CSN Houston come out of bankruptcy probably stronger than before and able to negotiate deals they want.
     
  18. Gloria_Chavez

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

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    KirchMedia in Germany went bankrupt in 2002, in large part because it had committed money to soccer rights that it could not recover from viewers.

    ESPN is budgeting 8.75 a subscriber by year 5 of contracts it's currently negotiating, which would be a CAGR of about 9.7%. It's going to argue that it needs that 8.75 a month in order to honor its many TV contracts.

    We'll see if Ergen blinks.
     
  19. Oct 1, 2013 #299 of 471
    JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    What about if he wants ESPN only or Disney only?

    IF they want about $9 for ESPN then we want you to make Disney an premium channel.
     
  20. Oct 2, 2013 #300 of 471
    charlie460

    charlie460 Godfather

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    Are Rockets games from CSN Houston available for out of market viewers with the NBA package, or no?
     

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