CSN Houston

Just when you thought the CSN Houston drama was behind us…well, the Astros and Rockets decided to reignite the firestorm. The two teams are once again combining their forces and filing a lawsuit against Comcast over the collapse of the network.

As with everything involving CSN Houston over the last year and a half, confusion and anger reign supreme, while millions upon millions of dollars are on the line. 12 parties have been named in the suit, and accused of ten separate counts.

Houston Chronicle, take it away…

While not specifying dollar estimates, the lawsuit seeks actual damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees associated with the network’s collapse from defendants, including Comcast, seven of its subsidiaries, including NBC Universal Media, and company officers Jon Litner, John Ruth, Robert Pick and Matt Bond.

It accuses the assorted defendants on at least 10 counts, including conspiracy, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent misrepresentation.


In the 64-page lawsuit, attorneys suggest that Comcast officials conspired as early as 2010 to gain full ownership of the network by “financially crippling (CSN Houston) so that it would have no choice but to sell itself to Comcast.”


The suit accuses Comcast and NBC Universal and the individual defendants of “intentionally and willfully (failing) to negotiate and obtain the best possible carriage rates” for CSN Houston, It also accuses Comcast and its officers of dishonest dealings by stating repeatedly that Comcast would buy the network out of bankruptcy and then deciding in March 2014, based on information that network officials say was improperly obtained,  that it would not do so.


The lawsuit opens with a shot across Comcast’s bow, noting that the company “year after year … is consistently ranked amongst the worst in customer service in the country. … But individual customers are not the only ones who have borne the brunt of Comcast’s bad behavior. Houston Regional Sports Network has experienced Comcast’s dishonesty firsthand.”

This is going to be fun. I was just about tapped out on the drama surrounding this RSN, but a lawsuit that could potentially result in the plaintiffs receiving nine figures? Oh yeah, now I’m all the way back in.

The Rockets and Astros both played their games this year on Root Sports Southwest, which grew out of the ashes of CSN Houston and gained much more carriage compared to the failed RSN. The timing of Root Sports’ launch couldn’t have worked out any better for the teams, considering that the Rockets made a run to the Western Conference Finals this season and the Astros are currently in first place in the AL West.

The outcome of the lawsuit likely won’t be decided for quite awhile, and who knows what the national and local sports broadcast landscapes will look like by then. But considering all of the nonsense that both teams had to deal with in regards to CSN Houston, trying to recoup some of the money they lost while the network floundered is simply a good business move by the Astros and Rockets.

[Houston Chronicle]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.