Current Astros Owner Sues...Former Astros Owner
The dispute involves the sale of McLane’s share in CSN Houston, an ill-fated regional sports network partnership between Comcast/NBC Sports Group, the Houston Astros, and the Houston Rockets. So far, the bickering between the parties has limited viewership of the two teams to approximately 40% of Houston and surrounding areas, which has severely curtailed the network’s revenue. Crane is seeking repayment of losses, undetermined damages, exemplary damages, interest and attorneys’ fees.
This statement from the suit gives Astros fans little reason for cheer any time soon.
“Ultimately, fans of the Houston Astros have been injured because defendants’ misrepresentations leave (Crane) with an impossible choice: either accept the broken network as is and deprive thousands of fans the ability to watch Houston Astros games on their televisions, or distribute the game at market rates and take massive losses out of the Houston Astros player payroll – thereby dooming the franchise for years to come.”
Earlier Thursday, at a status hearing regarding CSN Houston before a U.S. bankruptcy judge, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander expressed an interest in purchasing the 68% of the struggling regional sports network that he doesn’t currently own. The Rockets are the only entity in the current partnership that the Astros didn’t file suit against, so perhaps the two team owners will be able to work out an acceptable agreement that will eventually make Rockets games available to all interested fans in the region. As for Astros fans, they may be stuck watching Crane and McLane battling it out in court.