HOUSTON -- The Astros issued a statement Friday explaining their position following a report that Comcast filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition on behalf of the team's regional sports partnership with the NBA's Houston Rockets, Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The network, which will mark one year on the air on Tuesday, is only carried in about 40 percent of the Houston television market, according to the Houston Chronicle report. The network is jointly owned by the Astros (46 percent), Rockets (31 percent) and NBC Universal (23 percent).
"Comcast has improperly filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition in an attempt to prevent the Astros from terminating the Media Rights Agreement between the Astros and Houston Regional Sports Network. HRSN failed to pay the Astros media rights fees in July, August and September, and we have invested additional money in order to keep the network viable through our season," the statement said.
"Despite not receiving our media rights fees, our objective has not changed. We will continue to work toward obtaining full carriage so that all of our fans are able to watch the Astros games while making sure that the Astros are able to compete for championships."
According to the newspaper, the HSRN is the partnership between the Astros and Rockets that was established in the early 2000s for the teams to market their media rights. The network will remain on the air while the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure is resolved, the report says.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.