Houston Astros, Rockets sue Comcast over 'sabotage'

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 12 June 2015

Comcast is being sued by the Houston Astros and Houston Rockets over the regional sports network they co-owned, which the teams say was sabotaged by the cableco.

Baseball's Astros and basketball's Rockets were partners in the Houston Regional Sports Network with Comcast before the sports net fell into bankruptcy and, eventually, control by AT&T and DirecTV.

Comcast did "everything in its power" to financially impair the network so that it could get broadcast rights to the teams' games "at a significant discount," the teams allege via the suit filed by creditors. The teams say Comcast withheld any business plans, failed to negotiate the best price in deals with other nets and fraudulently promised to buy the network out of bankruptcy, before backing out on the deal. In the end, Comcast was to "financially cripple" the network, it says, to drive down its value and make it ripe for a low-cost acquisition.

The cable giant and its units "vigorously deny the claims," said John Demming, a Comcast spokesman. "The lawsuit is entirely without merit."