Crane Postpones Meeting in CSN Houston Bankruptcy Proceedings

Astros Owner in Orlando on Nov. 13 for MLB Owners' Conclave

A status meeting in the CSN Houston bankruptcy proceedings has been postponed as Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has another obligation: meeting with MLB owners in Orlando.

The meeting was scheduled for Nov. 13 as part of the involuntary chapter 11 proceedings being supervised by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur, who gave Crane until Dec. 12 to prepare a new business plan that will guide the embattled RSN toward profitability. The meeting is now set for Nov. 21.

Crane had nothing to report on Nov. 7 during a court-ordered weekly update with Comcast and the Rockets, “We hope to meet with interested parties next week,” he said in a published report.

CSN Houston, which bowed on Oct. 1, 2012, has only been able to secure carriage with Comcast and a handful of smaller providers covering 40% of the Houston DMA. In turn, the RSN missed rights payments to the Astros, which own 46% of the service, and the NBA’s Houston Rockets, which owns 32%. Comcast/NBC Sports Group control the rest of the network, which has a five-state TV territory.

Four Comcast affiliates – including  one that loaned the RSN $100 million to build a studio and for start-up costs -- filed a petition for chapter 11 protection on Sept. 27.

The Rockets pushed for a 45-day freeview through mid-December, a period in which two dozen of the club’s game are being televised by CSN Houston.

However, none of the major providers who remain on the distribution sidelines have taken CSN Houston on its offer, with DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T have all publicly declined the invitation.