The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a big playoff push towards the end of the season. That is the reason for game two on the Houston Astros schedule being pushed to the alternate Root Sports channel. The regular station did a good job of letting everyone know where they could find the baseball game. I stared longingly at the TV until exactly thirty minutes before the game. The screen lit up with the Astros logo, and ROOT Sports had brought baseball back into my home and I finally got a chance to review the product.
For two frustrating seasons, 60% of Houston households could not watch the Rockets or the Astros. The debacle that was Comcast’s CSN Houston channel not being able to make a deal with DirecTV or ATT for broadcasting rights left many Astros’ fans in the dark. Needless to say, I was more than a little pleased to see that chapter in Astros futility go by the wayside. Now, we have ROOT and an agreement to broadcast all 162 Astros games in 2015.
Bill Doleman and Mike Stanton welcomed me into the pregame show. Broadcasting from the familiar perch in left field, the announcers recapped the opening day victory and what Houston fans should look forward to tonight. Scott Feldman is taking the hill, and Chris Carter is being showcased after his tremendous 2014 season.
Apr 6, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros center fielderColby Rasmus
(28) is congratulated by right fielderJake Marisnick
(6) after making a defensive play during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Still, the most exciting thing is to have Bill Brown back in the booth on my television. Yes, Jim Deshaies is long gone to call Chicago Cubs games, but another familiar voice partnered with Brown. Former Astros catcher and radio announcer Alan Ashby is back to provide color analysis for Houston.
One of the first things I noticed about the broadcast is that it is not poor video quality like the old Fox Sports Southwest network. Instead, everything is clear, bright, and focused on Houston sports. I am a fan of the promotional commercials, the graphics, and the sports ticker at the bottom of the screen. I almost can’t tell if it is a better product or just one I can finally see.
Regardless of what it is that I like about the channel, it is great to see a competitive team again and to see it on such a great product just makes it that much more exciting.
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