Astros accusing Comcast of improperly filing improper bankruptcy petition

The Astros and the network that carries its games are at odds over a bankruptcy filing (AP)
October 28, 2013 3:32:26 AM PDT
The bankruptcy filing by the cable channel owned partially by two Houston sports teams apparently came as a surprise to the Astros. Comcast Sports Net airs Astros and Rockets games. A statement released by the Astros calls the bankruptcy filing "improper."

The team says it was forced to invest its own money into the sports network to keep the network viable through the rest of the season.

The Astros have a media rights agreement with the Houston Regional Sports Network, which airs the team's games on Comcast Sports Net. But the team says Comcast failed to pay its media rights fees for July, August and September.

The network launched with some uncertainty, because it had not reached an agreement with AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network or DirecTV. Roughly 58 percent of the cable subscribers in the city couldn't watch Astros games.

Late last night, we got this statement from NBC Universal, which owns the network.

"In order to resolve structural issues affecting CSN Houston's partnership, affiliates of Comcast/NBCUniversal have filed for involuntary bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Texas. This action is necessary to preserve CSN Houston's ability to provide its valuable programming and reaffirms Comcast/NBCUniversal's commitment to serving the region and its fans."

The Astros, meanwhile, say the bankruptcy filing is geared to prevent the team from cutting ties with the troubled sports network. The network will also carry Rockets games this season, so it's likely we haven't heard the end of this.

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