SBD/April 2, 2014/Media

Rockets Critical Of Comcast In Latest Court Filing Around CSN Houston Case

The Rockets and Comcast have "been on the same page on many of the key issues of the Comcast SportsNet Houston bankruptcy case, but the team lobbed a few rhetorical volleys at its business partner in a court filing submitted this week," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The Rockets, who are owed about $36M in "unpaid rights fees, are objecting to a request by Comcast Sports Management Services that it be paid several hundred thousand dollars in management fees and expenses associated with CSN Houston." Rockets attorney Alan Gover writes that the court "should not pay Comcast when there is 'substantial uncertainty' over whether the network can pay its other bills, and he adds that the uncertainty is largely Comcast’s fault." In addition, the Rockets say Comcast “racked up tens of millions of dollars” in expenses even as it “severely undermined” efforts by the Rockets and Astros to attract new investors for the network. The Rockets’ "critical comments toward Comcast came only a few days after officials with the Rockets, Astros and Comcast met for a seven-hour mediation session with U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes." Another closed-door conference "has been scheduled for April 11" (CHRON.com, 4/1).

DAZED & CONFUSED: The HOUSTON CHRONICLE's Barron wrote, "How confusing is the Astros’ current television brouhaha? Even DirecTV, apparently, can’t figure it out." The YES Network feed of the Yankees-Astros game "was shown nationally Tuesday night on MLB Network." In the Astros’ "five-state TV market, the game was supposed to be blacked out and replaced by Blue Jays-Rays." Comcast "complied with the blackout order," airing the Blue Jays-Rays game, but DirecTV "failed to throw the switch" (CHRON.com, 4/1).
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