Comcast to appeal CSN Houston valuation ruling

The bankruptcy court battle over struggling regional sports network CSN Houston is going into overtime.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has appealed a ruling rendered Wednesday by Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur that seemed, at the time, to have cleared the sale of the network to AT&T (NYSE: T) and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV).

According to the Houston Chronicle, which has been closely following the case, the crucial matter of the network's remaining value will now be ruled on by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Comcast jointly launched Comcast SportsNet Houston two years ago along with Houston-area pro sports teams the Astros and Rockets. The RSN, however, could never find carriage outside Comcast, with No. 2 operator DirecTV and all other pay-TV companies in the Houston region unwilling to license it.

CSN Houston wound up in bankruptcy court in September 2013. A restructuring that would turn the channel over to AT&T and DirecTV has been approved by the Astros and Rockets, who have agreed to significantly lower broadcast fees to put their games on the channel

Comcast, however, wants to be repaid a $100 million loan it put into the joint venture. The value of the collateral used to back that loan--the channel itself--will determine how much the teams have to repay Comcast.

On Wednesday, Isgur ruled against Comcast's argument that its carriage of the network alone rendered it still worth over $400 million.

For more:
- read this Houston Chronicle blog post

Related links:
Comcast loses key CSN Houston ruling, clearing sale to AT&T and DirecTV
Comcast SportsNet Houston value has dropped from $700M to $22M, consultant says
Comcast rejects latest SportsNet Houston deal
DirecTV set to take over Houston RSN it refused to carry
Comcast cited 'total gridlock' at CSN Houston bankruptcy filing
Dish offers to distribute carriage-starved CSN Houston a la carte
Houston mayor pressures DirecTV, Suddenlink, AT&T to sign deal with Comcast SportsNet Houston