Team McLane calls Crane’s Astros abysmal


Another day, another court filing. Team Drayton McLane appeared in court today to respond to Jim Crane’s allegations of fraud and breach of contract. Heck let’s throw in a little conspiracy just for fun. McLane’s lawyers have officially entered a motion to dismiss Crane’s lawsuit.

As usual, we depend on David Barron for the details. He’s definitely our go to guy when it comes to legal proceedings.

Nothing like a little Texas mudslinging to get things started.

Crane alleges that McLane and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander conspired to give Comcast Cable Network discounted rates while  overcharging other carriers for CSN Houston. It’s something called a most favored nation clause. Apparently, Comcast is it’s own freakin’ nation now. Who knew?

Comcast is big, too. The wannabe Cable and Internet Superpower is currently invading Crimea attempting to buyout/merger with Time Warner Cable. That transaction is being closely scrutinized and may not be given federal approval. That will be for a different set of lawyers to decide.

Today, McLane’s lawyers pointed out the fact that Crane signed a legal contract that bars McLane from any future liability. The future of the team and the fledgeling RSN that had yet to go on the air were in Crane’s hands at the completion of the transaction.

As we all know, only a few tiny cable providers (who service small areas where none of us actually live) have agreed to pay the exorbitant rights fees to carry CSN Houston. As a result, TV broadcasts of Astros games have been unavailable to the majority of Houston area residents and almost all other residents of Texas and its surrounding states. That’s a ridiculously large area. (More on MLB’s ludicrous blackout rules later)

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane (Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports)

No games on TV obviously sucks for the fans. Crane notes it’s also bad for business. Comcast owes the Astros several million dollars which Crane claims has hamstrung his ability to improve the club.

Just get this thing settled already!

It’s simple. No money = bad.

Some money > no money.

Just give all the carriers the discount rate. It will get the games on TV and, at the same time, generate a little cash flow. Win, win!

But I digress.

Today was — just another day — another court filing.