On October 30, 2014, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas confirmed a Chapter 11 plan (the Plan) for the Houston Regional Sports Network, L.P., (the Network) a regional sports network carrying Houston Rockets and Houston Astros games and related content.
Global law firm White & Case represented the Houston Rockets, who served as co-proponents of the Plan along with the Astros and the Network. Once effective, the Plan will provide lucrative long-term media rights deals for the Rockets and Astros and approximately double the Network's carriage and revenue through carriage agreements with the Network's new equity holders, DirecTV and AT&T.
Prior to the bankruptcy case, the Network had struggled to obtain carriage, leaving it unable to pay media rights fees due the teams. Comcast—whose affiliates served variously as the Network's manager, sole carrier, co-owner, and secured lender—filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition against the Network last year in order to prevent the Astros from terminating their media rights agreement. After Comcast reneged on its promise to orchestrate a reorganization of the Network, the Rockets took the lead on developing a feasible plan with the Astros and the Network. The plan was confirmed over Comcast’s objections and following a hotly contested valuation trial at which the Bankruptcy Court valued Comcast’s collateral—which Comcast contended was worth in excess of its $100 million loan—at approximately $26 million.
"The Rockets have just been delightful in their behavior [and] have acted throughout . . . as the glue that tried to hold this thing together," said US District Judge Marvin Isgur.
Alan Gover, partner with White & Case and lead attorney said, "The hearing on November 6 was a success for our client the Houston Rockets. With the stay pending appeal denied, the next step will be the closing, which is slated to proceed on schedule."
In addition to Gover, White & Case attorneys involved include Greg Little, Ian Silverbrand, Jason Goldstein, and Mark Franke in the Firm’s New York office, and Roberto Kampfner, Rachel Feldman, Andrew Mackintosh, Arash Sadat, and Aaron Colodny in the Firm’s Los Angeles office.
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