Comcast Accused Of Sabotaging TV Channel; Company Fires Back
After recently scoring among the lowest-rated companies in this year’s American Consumer Satisfaction Index data, dissatisfied Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) customers may now have another reason to dislike the company.
According to new court documents, Comcast now stands accused in Texas bankruptcy court of deliberately undermining sports channel Comcast Sportsnet Houston.
Back in 2010, Comcast entered into a partnership with the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets to collaborate on a new Houston sports network, Comcast Sportsnet Houston. As part of the agreement, Comcast owned only 22 percent of the network, a departure from the company’s typical full ownership of CSN regional channels.
It didn’t take long before the relationship began to sour. The Astros and Rockets allege that Comcast deliberately failed to negotiate distribution deals with other networks, a shortcoming that soon led to the network’s bankruptcy in 2013.
The lawsuit claims that the bankruptcy was all part of Comcast’s plan to drive down the value of the network so that Comcast could acquire the full broadcasting rights to Astros and Rockets games “at a significant discount.”
New Broadcasting Deal
In the end, the two teams agreed to pay Comcast $26 million for its share of the broadcasting rights and went on to sign new deals with AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), which are now broadcasting Astros and Rockets games via the Root Sports Southwest network.
Comcast Fires Back
In response to the lawsuit, Comcast spokesman John Demming issued a statement in which the company “vigorously” denies the allegations. “The lawsuit is entirely without merit,” Demming writes.
© 2016 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.