Phoenix baseball fans may have heard that the Houston Astros filed a motion to dismiss a case against SportsNet Houston filed by NBC Universal/Comcast creditors. The involuntary business bankruptcy involved the regional sports network created for the Houston marker by the Astros baseball team, the Rockets basketball team and NBC Universal/Comcast. The Astros reportedly believed that the case was without merit since cash calls from the team would allow payments to be made. Their creditors were given one week to reply.
In any event, a bankruptcy would not force the network to shut down. This is because the Chapter 11 creditors were in search of a trustee to manage the young network while the case is heard in court. Should such a trustee be found, that manager could make carriage deals without needing the approval of key stakeholders, a stipulation the Astros were trying to avoid. The team issued a statement when the bankruptcy case was filed saying that even though their media rights fees were not being paid, they would still work to attain full carriage so that their fans would be able to watch all the team’s games.
In the Houston area at the time of this writing, only 40 percent of households could watch games because only Comcast had picked up carriage of the CSN Houston schedule. The mayor of the city tried to negotiate an end to the stalemate herself, but no progress was made in her attempt to set up meetings with Time Warner, DirecTV and Suddenlink.
Business bankruptcy doesn’t have to be the end of doing business. A Phoenix attorney with experience in business reorganization may be able to help during a commercial bankruptcy. A lawyer may be instrumental in business debt negotiations and working with creditors.
Source: Forbes, “Astros to Seek Dismissal of CSN Houston Bankruptcy Case“, Maury Brown, October 07, 2013