HOUSTON — ROOT SPORTS Southwest announced Thursday that legendary Rockets broadcaster Bill Worrell will share play-by-play duties with the Rockets’ radio voice, Craig Ackerman, during the upcoming 2016-17 NBA season. Worrell remains a key fixture in ROOT SPORTS’s coverage of the team by calling the play-by-play for Rockets home game telecasts. Ackerman joins the TV broadcast team as play-by-play announcer for most Rockets away games.
Worrell has spent 32 of his 40-plus years in broadcast with the Rockets. He was one of the earliest employees of Houston’s first sports cable channel and was on air for its inaugural event, a Rockets home game. His career highlights include winning the 2011 Lone Star Emmy for Best Play-by-Play Announcer.
“It will be a new experience,” said Worrell. “For the fans, Craig, me, Bull and Clyde, all of us really. The Rockets organization has been such a big part of my life for the past three decades. I’m excited about the opportunity to travel less and still call games for the team I love. Craig will do great and I’m confident that Rockets fans will embrace him as a welcome part of our team.”
Ackerman has been a part of the Rockets organization for over two decades. He was the lead play-by-play commentator for the Rockets radio network for the past eight years, and he reported for NBA TV during the 2006 NBA All-Star weekend in Houston.
“Bill Worrell is a mentor, fan favorite and sports icon in this city,’ Ackerman said. “He is the face and voice of Rockets television and I‘m honored to have the opportunity to work alongside him and a great team at ROOT SPORTS.”
The rest of the in-game broadcast team stays intact, with former Rockets players Matt Bullard (home and away games) and Clyde Drexler (home games) serving as color analysts.
ROOT SPORTS™ Southwest 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.