Rockets Announce Changes to Broadcast Team for 2016-17
HOUSTON – In conjunction with broadcast partners ROOT SPORTS and SportsTalk790, the Houston Rockets announced changes to their television and English radio broadcast team for the upcoming season.
Longtime television play-by-play broadcaster Bill Worrell will once again team up with former Rockets Matt Bullard and Clyde Drexler for ROOT SPORTS coverage of Rockets home games, with Worrell joining Bullard for select road games.
For most of the Rockets road schedule on ROOT SPORTS, Bullard will be alongside Craig Ackerman, who has served as the Rockets radio play-by-play voice dating back to the 2008-09 season. Ackerman has been a part of the Rockets organization for the past 22 years, beginning with an internship while he was a student at Houston Baptist University.
When Ackerman is handling duties on the road for ROOT SPORTS, SportsTalk790’s Matt Thomas will cover radio play-by-play. Thomas will also return as the team’s public address announcer, a position he held back during the Rockets championship seasons. In addition to contributing to Rockets coverage and co-hosting "The Proper Gentlemen of Sports" on SportsTalk790, Thomas has called play-by-play for University of Houston basketball.
Local radio personality Adam Clanton will take over the reigns as studio host for SportsTalk790’s coverage of the Rockets. Clanton, who has lived in Houston since he was 8 years old, co-hosts "The Bottom Line" weekdays on SportsTalk 790.
The Rockets Spanish radio broadcast, featuring Adrian Chavarria, returns to La Ranchera KEYH 850 AM/KNTE 101.7 FM. On Feb. 19, 2016, Chavarria broadcast his 1,500th regular season game for the Rockets.
"We are excited to usher in this new era of Rockets coverage with our partners ROOT SPORTS and SportsTalk790," said Rockets Chief Executive Officer Tad Brown. "Bill Worrell is one of the most revered figures in Houston sports and a big part of the Rockets family. Craig Ackerman continues to grow in his role as a Rockets voice, now expanding into television play by play. And Matt Thomas and Adam Clanton are incredibly talented broadcasters that will bring fresh voices to Rockets broadcasts. We’re extremely excited about the new lineup, and can’t wait to get the season started against the Shanghai Sharks October 2nd."
For over three decades, Worrell has been the play-by-play announcer for Rockets telecasts and is one of the most familiar faces within the Houston sports scene. During his career, Worrell has covered and reported on numerous national sports events, including the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, Major League Baseball Playoffs and NCAA Basketball Tournaments.
Bullard is entering his 12th full season as an analyst on the Rockets telecast. He began his broadcasting career during his playing days as a Rocket, serving as radio color commentator for the WNBA’s Houston Comets. Bullard played 11 NBA seasons and was a member of the Rockets first championship team in 1993-94.
One of five players in franchise history to have his number retired, Drexler has been an analyst for Rockets home and playoff games dating back to 2005-06. A member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Drexler grew up in the Houston area and helped the Rockets win their second championship in 1994-95.
Ackerman took over the reigns as the Rockets radio play-by-play voice, after the long-time duo of Gene Peterson and Jim Foley stepped aside at the end of the 2007-08 season. He previously served as the radio and television play-by-play announcer for the Comets and has called football and men’s basketball for the University of Houston as well as men’s and women’s basketball for Rice University.
Chavarria is entering his 21st season as the voice of the Rockets on Spanish radio. A graduate of the University of Houston, Chavarria has also broadcast games in Spanish for the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bears and Houston Astros.
ROOT SPORTS is the television home of the Houston Rockets and Houston Astros. The network reaches approximately 4.2 million households across five states and delivers more than 250 live events each year- all of which are available in high definition. ROOT SPORTS Southwest is owned and operated by AT&T Sports Networks, which also operates regional sports networks in the Northwest, Pittsburgh and Rocky Mountain regions. The four networks combined reach approximately 13 million households across 22 states and own exclusive rights to produce and distribute live events from more than 25 teams and conferences.