SABR

Thurm: Astros' regional sports network awash in losses, lawsuits

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs on November 26, 2013:

Comcast SportsNet Houston went live Oct. 1, 2012, and has been in trouble ever since. Actually, the trouble may have started before the first broadcast signal beamed to homes in the Houston area. Now the network and its various constituent owners are fighting in federal bankruptcy court and in Texas state court. The situation may get worse before it gets better.

The Houston Astros own the largest equity stake in CSN Houston, at 46%. The Houston Rockets own 32% and Comcast has the remaining 22%. Comcast owns NBC Universal, which operates Comcast Sports Group — the network of regional sports networks that includes CSN Bay Area, CSN California, CSN Chicago, CSN Philadelphia, CSN Mid-Atlantic and CSN Northwest.

Not only do the Astros have a large stake in CSN Houston, but also a 20-year, rights-fee deal that was supposed to pay the team, on average, $80 million per season. That figure is in line with other recently-inked broadcast deals for MLB teams in medium-to-large television markets: the Rangers and Angels are on the high end, with deals averaging $150 million per year for 20 years. The Padres are on the low end, with a deal averaging $60 million per year for 20 years.

But what the Astros were scheduled to be paid for the broadcast rights to their games differs significantly from what they received.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/astros-regional-sports-network-awash-in-losses-and-lawsuits/

This page was last updated November 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm MST.

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