Home Team Sports sent Abe Pollin a letter on April 10 advising that the cable-television company's contract with the Washington Bullets and Washington Capitals was in a "status of termination," it was revealed yesterday in Prince George's Circuit Court. Thus, HTS will exercise an option that allowed renegotiation after the first year of the multiyear contract.
Bill Aber, vice president and general manager of HTS, said later that HTS "will sit down and do business" with the teams, and that "there is no doubt in my mind that the Bullets and Capitals would be carried next season" by the cable firm. Asked if the letter would have been a surprise to Pollin, Aber said, "I wouldn't think so."
The letter was introduced by attorneys for Pollin, general partner of Capital Centre and owner of the Bullets and Capitals. Pollin is being sued by Arnold Heft, a limited partner of Capital Centre, who contends Pollin in June 1982 secretly and unilaterally diverted money from the profit-making arena to the financially struggling teams.
Responding to an objection by one of Heft's attorneys, Judge Albert T. Blackwell Jr. refused to receive into evidence the letter from HTS because it was written to Pollin and the witness at the time yesterday was Edmund Stelzer, comptroller of Capital Centre and the Capitals.
In a discussion of the team's television fees Monday, Stelzer testified that HTS had guaranteed the Capitals and Bullets $1 million each for 1985. Aber would not comment on that figure.