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.
- read this Houston Chronicle blog post
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