UPDATED: Must See TV: Where in the Hell Can I Watch the Rockets if I Don't Have Comcast?
Update: Tim Baldwin, the man who put together the map and Google spreadsheet, spoke with me last night and said he decided to do it for fun and that he had added every location from the CSN Houston list to the interactive map, noting that there were a number of locations found by ClutchFans members not on the CSN list. Check out the updated interactive map here.
As Rockets fans are well aware, the only major TV/cable provider in the Houston area that carries CSN Houston, the broadcast home for the Rockets, is Comcast. If you don't have it, you most likely can't see Rockets games including if you have the NBA League Pass, which blacks out games in the area due to league rules. I'm fairly certain this is to protect local TV feeds and their advertisers, which would be great if more than 40 percent of the viewing population actually had access.
As the season drags on, however, fans are obviously going to be searching out ways to watch games, particularly road games that they can't attend in person. After a bit of searching, I've found a couple of different lists out there that rundown the bars and restaurants where you can catch the games, but they are by no means comprehensive.
Probably the most comprehensive list is actually on the CSN Houston website. They have a downloadable PDF document that has nearly 400 bars and restaurants supposedly airing the games. But even that list is missing a few (Sambucca downtown, for example, carries it) and it doesn't really make it easy to find something in your area.
A much smaller, but more interesting approach was taken by one of the members of the massive ClutchFans.net bulletin board. In a thread there, "B" posted links to both an editable Google spreadsheet and an interactive map of locations. Because it's obviously a one-person operation, the current list is limited to whatever people on ClutchFans have mentioned, but it's a much easier way to find games than scrolling down a PDF document. And the Google spreadsheet is accessible to and can be changed by any Google user.
So, some more ambitious youth off school from college might consider going through CSN Houston's entire list and updating the spreadsheet. Perhaps CSN will do it themselves.
Whatever the case, hopefully the list will be rendered useless relatively soon when CSN Houston finally comes to terms with U-Verse, Dish Network and DirecTV, but until then, this is your best bet for watching Rockets games if you don't have Comcast.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.