The old saying goes that “All politics is local”, but the same thing can’t always be said for sports.
The Houston region has had a sordid history of providing a full-range sports coverage channel that is locally-based. Even as Fox Sports Houston is set to close its doors and be re-absorbed into Fox Sports Southwest, there is new reason to be hopeful.
In October Houstonians welcome Comcast SportsNet Houston, a brand new venture that is co-owned by the Houston Rockets, Houston Astros and Comcast Television. Veteran media Blogger Mike McGuff writes the new network will offer “the most comprehensive sports coverage” the Houston area has ever known.
They will broadcast live from a brand-new studio in downtown’s Houston Pavilions. The main broadcast room is visible from street-level, and should allow for some interesting scenes of “fandom” in downtown, or at least a quick way for pedestrians to be on tv. The station premieres to Comcast customers in Texas, Arkansas, Lousiana and Oklahoma. Here is the channel line-up for area markets:
Houston: Comcast Channel 39 and 639, Coastal Link Channel 31 and 131, EnTouch Channel 73 and 473, Phonoscope Channel 35
Shreveport: Comcast Channel 86 and 1688
Little Rock: Comcast Channel 269 and 1687
Negotiations are still pending for DirecTV, Time-Warner Cable (the “majority provider” in the D/FW, Austin and San Antonio markets) and Dish Network customers.
Besides being the new home for the Astros and the Rockets, the network also plans to do expanded coverage of local college teams like Rice and the University of Houston, and a new Texans post-game show. The expansion is impressive, with new shows like Houston SportsNet Central, a Thursday night program devoted entirely to area high school teams, and big promo for the October 10th opening of the Houston Rockets season. Watch out for it!!
(photo from the Houston Pavilions website)