DIRECTV, AT&T Offically Launch ROOT Sports Southwest, CSN Houston Is No More

DIRECTV Sports Networks and AT&T U-verse TV today debuted the ROOT Sports Southwest regional sports network, replacing the now-dormant CSN Houston. The launch immediately makes the channel’s Rockets games and upcoming Astros games available to four times as many households throughout the Houston area. The network went live at 6 a.m. CT today, and, tonight at 7 p.m., Houston Rockets fans can watch their team take on the Memphis Grizzlies.

Under the management of DIRECTV, ROOT Sports Southwest will be available in more than 4 million Houston-area homes — up from fewer than 1 million during the past two Rockets and Astros seasons. The launch follows more than a year of haggling and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings between former owner Comcast, the Rockets, and the Astros, after the network failed to secure widespread carriage throughout the Houston market.

ROOT Sports Southwest is now available to AT&T U-verse subscribers on channels 758 in SD/1758 in HD and DIRECTV customers on channel 674. Local Comcast cable customers will see ROOT Sports Southwest in place of CSN Houston on channels 39 in SD/639 in HD. ROOT Sports Southwest will produce all Rockets games and future Astros coverage exclusively in HD.

“We know these past two years have been tough for many Rockets and Astros fans who couldn’t cheer on their teams while sitting in front of their TVs at home,” says Patrick Crumb, president of DIRECTV Sports Networks, which will oversee daily operations of the new channel. “So we welcome this opportunity to work with the teams and the talented, passionate Houston-based network staff to deliver a high-quality, innovative sports network that millions more families can enjoy.”

DIRECTV operates three other ROOT Sports networks in Pittsburgh, Denver, and Seattle.

“This is a great day for Houston sports fans,” says Aaron Slator, president, content development, AT&T. “Together with DIRECTV Sports Networks, we’re excited to be able to offer ROOT Sports Southwest and bring the Rockets and Astros back into the homes of our U-verse customers.”

Stay tuned to SportsVideo.org for more in-depth coverage of this story later this week.