Houston Rockets games now available in 40 Central Texas ZIP codes

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (Rich Pedroncelli photo / Associated Press)
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (Rich Pedroncelli photo / Associated Press)

Houston Rockets fans in about 40 Central Texas ZIP codes will finally be able to watch their favorite team this season.

Root Sports Southwest, which carries most Rockets games, said it has reached a deal with the NBA that will allow the games to be beamed into about 200,000 more homes in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Previously, the games had been blacked out in those households because the NBA considered them to be part of a different team’s “protected territory.”

In Central Texas, for example, the 40 ZIP codes were linked to the San Antonio Spurs previously, giving that team exclusive local broadcast rights.

The 40 ZIP codes are primarily north and east of Austin. Most Austin residents, unfortunately, will still lack access.

The ZIP codes include all or part of the cities of Bastrop, Florence, Georgetown, Granger, Jarrell, Manor, Round Rock, Schwertner, Taylor and Thrall, as well as some homes near Lakeline Mall and in the Wells Branch area.

The ZIP codes are: 76527, 76530, 76537, 76573, 76574, 76578, 76820, 76831, 76842, 76856, 76869, 76885, 78602, 78605, 78607, 78608, 78609, 78611, 78615, 78621, 78626, 78627, 78628, 78633, 78634, 78641, 78642, 78643, 78646, 78650, 78653, 78659, 78660, 78664, 78665, 78672, 78673, 78674, 78680, 78681, 78682, 78683, 78691, 78717 and 78728.

Rockets, Astros games can now be viewed in Austin

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (Associated Press photo)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (Associated Press photo)

A new channel popped up today on the AT&T U-verse and DirecTV lineups.

Root Sports Southwest signed on this morning, promising access to Houston Rockets and Houston Astros games.

The first pro sports matchup airs tonight at 7:30 p.m., when the Rockets take on the Memphis Grizzlies.

U-verse subscribers can find Root Sports Southwest on channels 758 and 1758. On DirecTV, tune to channel 674.

Root Sports Southwest is the new name for what was Comcast SportsNet Houston. The channel filed for bankruptcy and was recently gobbled up by AT&T and DirecTV.

The change in ownership dramatically expands the audience for Rockets and Astros games, which previously had been limited to Comcast subscribers and customers of a few very small cable companies in the Houston area.

Other programming airing on Root Sports Southwest includes “The Rich Eisen Show” and “The Dan Patrick Show,” as well as some college sports matchups.