Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

NBC Affiliates File Bankruptcy Petition For CSN Houston; Astros Pissed

Illustration for article titled NBC Affiliates File Bankruptcy Petition For CSN Houston; Astros Pissed

The Astros are the largest owners of CSN Houston at a little over 46 percent. The Rockets own 31 percent and the remaining 22-ish percent is probably owned by the Dos Equis guy because he had to foul up at some point belongs to NBC Universal. NBC Universal just filed a petition to begin an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding against the RSN “in order to resolve structural issues affecting CSN Houston’s partnership.”


CSN Houston is carried in only 40 percent of Houston homes and has had a terrible time of negotiating carriage fees with providers like Verizon FIOS and AT&T. Throw in a terrible baseball team and it's a recipe for shitty ratings and literally zero Nielsen homes watching the network. According to NBC, part of the problem in getting the network in front of more eyes is the partnership structure and the bankruptcy petition is aimed at fixing that.

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 Rockets have no comment on the matter, but the Astros are pissed because they were blindsided by this move and because the partnership has not paid the team in months for the rights to the games its jointly-owned network has been broadcasting to practically no one.

“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.”

At least the Astros are getting money at the gate.

Photo Credit: Getty

CSN Houston bankruptcy filing surprises Astros [Houston Chronicle]