Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has decided not to appeal a ruling by a bankruptcy judge on the valuation of regional sports network CSN Houston, clearing the sale of the network to DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) and AT&T (NYSE: T).
FierceCable reported last week that Comcast had filed papers with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the Houston Chronicle, however, the MSO elected not to follow through with the appeal of Judge Marvin Isgur's decision. Isgur is expected to approve the sale next week.
The backstory: Comcast, along with Houston pro sports teams the Rockets and Astros, launched Comcast SportsNet Houston in 2012, but the network was unable to find another MVPD that would carry it beyond Comcast, and wound up in bankruptcy court.
Comcast's pro team partners have agreed to give up their ownership stakes and substantially reduce their licensing fees to put their games on the channel. The tradeoff: the channel will have another major carrier, DirecTV, beyond just Comcast.
Comcast, however, has held up the sale, demanding to be paid back a $100 million loan it put into the venture. The collateral is the channel itself, which Comcast has argued is worth well over $400 million, based on the fact that it's carrying it. Judge Isgur, however, ruled that the CSN Houston's value is substantially less, thus lowering the amount the teams have to pay back to Comcast.
- read this Houston Chronicle story
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