AT&T And DirecTV Present Plan To Takeover CSN Houston

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.

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Wendy's baseball writing has also been published by Sports on Earth., SB Nation, The Score, Bay Area Sports Guy, The Classical and San Francisco Magazine. Wendy practiced law for 18 years before beginning her writing career. You can find her work at and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.

9 Responses to “AT&T And DirecTV Present Plan To Takeover CSN Houston”

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  1. Sizzle says:

    $60 million annually, aka 1.35 times Houston’s 2014 payroll. Christ.

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    • Iron says:

      But it should be noted that was $60 Million annually that Houston ownership realized it was not going to see.

      But I’m more interested in the situation in LA which seems to be going in the same exact direction only with much larger numbers. Contrast the Astros with the Dodger’s payroll of $235 Million and TV revenues that will come to… I’m fascinated to find out. Everyone keeps saying the Dodgers money is guaranteed, but what does that look like? How is their contract different from the Astros? Why would TWC possibly sign a guaranteed deal for 7+ billion dollars on a shaky joint venture that required the competitors to sign on to unprecedented carriage fees? That strains credulity.

      It’s like a train heading toward a cliff, I can’t take my eyes off.

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  2. Thank you for this. I hope InstaGraphs can be a place for quick updates on all the legal goings on in MLB. It will definitely help me understand all the maneuvering and whatnot from each side throughout the entire process in easy to digest nuggets.


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  3. AK7007 says:

    Interesting that the teams want this in spite of losing ownership stakes.

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  4. HawaiiFO says:

    Looks like the stare down between cable company’s and MLB teams trying to start their own channels, the cable company’s win. This will embolden the others not to pay carriage fee’s and see if they to can break MLB in other markets.

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