tv wars

Are the Astros or the Rangers Austin's "home team"? Tune in to your local stations to find out

Are the Astros or the Rangers Austin's "home team"? Tune in to your local stations to find out

Austin Photo Set: News_Jim_astros_rangers_april 2012_pitchers
Are you at home with the Texas Rangers, or are you at home with the Houston Astros.

Are you at home with the Texas Rangers, or are you at home with the Houston Astros. According to Fox Sports or Major League Baseball, in Austin and Central Texas, we are at home with the Astros.

But, you say, the Round Rock Express is the AAA club for last year’s American League champions, the Texas Rangers. Doesn’t that make a difference?

Further, we know the Texas Rangers stars: Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young, to name three. Can you name three Astros “stars”? Who knows, by the time they play 162 games these Astros may indeed be legitimate stars. Stranger things have happened in baseball. 

We also know names of several of the Round Rock Express. Some of them have been up to the “show” with the big club, particularly at the end of the season. I particularly like yeoman player Matt Kata; he’s capable of being spectacular. Also, center fielder Julio Borbon started last year in the Major League.

These are familiar names, but they aren’t part of the “home market” team for Austin and Central Texas, i.e., the Houston Astros.

Therefore, when you tune in Fox Southwest during baseball season within the next few days, more than likely you’ll see the Houston Astros even though we know only a few of their names (Carlos Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, and Chris Johnson). You’ll have to look elsewhere for the Rangers.

“The Austin area is, is considered a home market for the Astros, but when those games are on Fox SW and the Rangers are playing at the same time, then the Rangers game will be on Channel 77 [in Austin],” says Melissa Sorola, regional communications director for Time Warner Cable. 

One notable problem is that Channel 77 is digital, meaning a viewer must have a cable box to view it. Secondly, it is not a High Definition (HD) telecast. 

Now, there is a third option for 25 of the Ranger’s regular season games. KBVO, another digital channel, will broadcast 25 Texas Rangers baseball games live in HD beginning Friday night, Apr. 13 through Sep. 28.  “Every Friday night KBVO will bring the excitement and tradition of the reigning American League Champs into the homes of Central Texas,” their news release says.

LIN Media is trying to position KBVO as a regional sports channel. “KBVO brings Austin viewers local and regional sports such as San Antonio Spurs, Houston Texans pre-season football, Big 12 college basketball including the University of Texas Longhorns and live broadcasts of local high school football and basketball,” according to the news release. 

Other than these Friday night Rangers games, the sports programming on KBVO is rather sporadic, however.

(To clear up possible confusion: KBVO used to be the call letters for what is now KEYE TV when it was an independent, non-network station. When the station became a CBS affiliate, the call letters were changed to KEYE, and KBVO was dropped, making them available to some other station. The current KBVO used to be full-power Hill Country station broadcasting from a tower in Llano called KXAM TV, it repeated the programming of KXAN TV to a wider audience in the Hill Country, referred to in the Neilson Ratings as KXAN +. When LIN management decided to reprogram the station, the changed the call letters to KBVO. Clear?)

Best of luck rooting for your "home team," whichever it may be.