Rockets Say "Significant Progress" Made In Search For CSN Houston Partner
The Rockets last night asked a federal bankruptcy judge to "extend their role as lead negotiator for Comcast SportsNet Houston through Jan. 31, allowing more time to pursue what they describe as 'significant progress' with potential partners that could help revive the financially troubled regional sports network," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The Rockets have been "acting as lead negotiator since Dec. 12, when they inherited that role from the Astros." Judge Marvin Isgur has "allowed each team leeway to seek new business alliances." The Rockets said they received an offer yesterday from an unnamed party, and are "in the midst of significant negotiations with at least one other party" (CHRON.com, 1/6).
PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM: In Philadelphia, Matt Gelb noted the Phillies as part of their 25-year deal with CSN Philadelphia "must send" 34% of the rights fee to MLB's revenue-sharing pool, but the rights fee is the "only part of these TV deals subject" to MLB's revenue sharing. Thus, teams "find profit in other areas, like an equity stake in the network and a share of advertising revenue." MLB agent Scott Boras said that the Phillies and other teams are "taking advantage of a loophole" in the CBA. Boras: "Having a percent ownership in the entity prevents them from exposure to revenue-sharing rules, which hurts other teams in the league from receiving the true payment" (PHILLY.com, 1/6).