News Corporations Fox Sports Media Group keeps stacking its’ bulging sports networks. Yesterday, Fox Sports announced that it had purchased SportsTime Ohio. The Cleveland channel owned by Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan.
Part of the deal is that Fox Sports signed an agreement that they will carry Cleveland Indians baseball long term. The Sports Business Journal estimates the deal is in the $250 million range.
Fox Sports Ohio used to carry the Tribe games, until Dolan started his own network. Neal Huntington and I discussed the uniqueness of the Indians doing this at PirateFest when I had asked how successful the channel had been for the Indians.
It looks like it turned out, at least on paper, to be a smart long term move by Dolan, especially when considering the deal that ROOT has with the Pens and Pirates.
“The acquisition of SportsTime Ohio solidifies our business in Ohio, and Fox Sports Media Group’s new long-term agreement with the Indians reunites the team with the Fox Sports family,” Jeff Krolik, executive vice president, Fox Sports Networks, said in a statement.
Of course Fox Sports has also agreed to purchase a 49% minority stake in The Yes Network and has a deal together for the rights to cover the Los Angeles Dodgers. The television deals are transforming baseball on the west coast.
Maybe they can head east from Cleveland next.