Media News

George Steinbrenner sued over Yankees' TV network

* Ex-MSG chief Gutkowski files lawsuit

* Steinbrenner allegedly breached agreement

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - George Steinbrenner, the longtime principal owner of the New York Yankees baseball team, was sued on Friday for allegedly breaching an agreement over the creation and operation a $3 billion cable TV network.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Robert Gutkowski, a former president of Madison Square Garden Corp and the MSG Network CVC.N, said Steinbrenner "knowingly lied" when he promised him a chance to build and have a major role in running what would become the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, or YES.

Instead, he said Steinbrenner retained him as only an occasional outside consultant, and did not and never intended to properly compensate him.

Gutkowski said he first came up with the idea for the network in 1996, six years before its debut. The MSG Network had held local broadcast and cable rights to Yankees games from 1989 to 2000, the lawsuit said.

A spokesman for Steinbrenner had no immediate comment.

Gutkowski is seeking to recover at least $38 million, including $18 million of compensatory damages and $20 million of punitive damages.

The case is Gutkowski v. Steinbrenner, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan), No. 09-7535. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)