In 2010, MLB’s Houston Astros and the NBA’s Rockets held $550 million in equity of their then-flagship network, Comcast SportsNet Houston. Four years later, DirecTV bought the network’s assets for a mere $1,000. Those four disastrous years have now resulted in a massive lawsuit brought by the professional sports clubs against communications monolith Comcast, a suit the Houston Chronicle says names NBC Universal and numerous high-ranking Comcast/NBC executives among the defendants.
Comcast SportsNet Houston declared bankruptcy in 2013, having failed to secure carriage deals on most of the region’s cable/satellite providers; DirecTV, Dish Network, and AT&T all declined to offer the channel to their subscribers. The Astros owned 46.5% of the failed channel, while the Rockets held 31%; The clubs are suing to recover both that lost equity as well as more than $100 million in unpaid rights fees.
The suit alleges Comcast was deceptive about its business plans and made “disparaging and false statements” that resulted in the bankruptcy and the loss of the teams’ rights fees and value in the company. You can read the full suit below, which specifically cites “breach of contract” and “conspiracy” among the many alleged Comcast misdeeds.