Jim Crane Sues Drayton McLane, Comcast And NBC

Astros owner Jim Crane has filed a lawsuit against former owner Drayton McLane, Comcast and NBC Universal as a result of the Astros' television situation, reports David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. The lawsuit accuses the trio of fraud and civil conspiracy and also accuses McLane's former ownership group of a breach of contract in conjunction with Crane's 2011 purchase of a 46 percent interest in Comcast Sportsnet Houston's parent company, Barron explains.

According to Barron, the lawsuit also accuses McLane of selling "an asset (the network) they knew at the time to be overpriced and broken" and claims that Crane was provided with "knowing misrepresentations" and "falsely inflated subscription rates" prior to agreeing to the purchase.

CSN Houston launched in the fall of 2012 but is only available in 40 percent of Houston-area households, which Crane understandably claims will damage Houston's ability to field a competitive team. As Barron reports, the lawsuit claims that Crane has been left with an impossible choice: "…either accept the broken network as is and deprive thousands of fans the ability to watch Houston Astros games on their televisions, or distribute the game at market rates and take massive losses out of the Houston Astros player payroll…"

Barron's article is a terrific, in-depth look at the lawsuit and contains a wealth of details for Astros fans and those with an interest in the ongoing controversy.

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