FOX Sports Media Group and SportsTime Ohio have announced an agreement that calls for FOX Sports to acquire SportsTime Ohio, the Cleveland-based regional sports network that has been offering local telecasts of Cleveland Indians games for the past seven seasons.
In addition, FOX Sports Media Group announced that it has secured the exclusive long-term local telecast rights for Indians baseball, ensuring that the Indians will once again be part of the FOX Sports portfolio of regionally televised hometown teams. Prior to the 2006 season, Indians games were locally televised by FOX Sports Ohio.
FOX Sports Ohio serves more than five million homes throughout the state of Ohio, as well as portions of Kentucky, Indiana, western Pennsylvania, western New York, and West Virginia. FOX Sports Ohio is the exclusive regional TV home of the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, Xavier Musketeers, and Cincinnati Bearcats.
SportsTime Ohio also offers other locally relevant sports content, including Cleveland Browns programming, OHSAA football and basketball playoffs and championships, and Mid-American Conference events.
"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," said Jeff Krolik, executive vice president, FOX Sports Networks. "We look forward to once again showcasing the Indians to their fans, as well as working with the Indians ownership to continue to enhance the value of this iconic franchise."
Cleveland Indians Chief Executive Officer Paul Dolan said, "We look forward to a long-term partnership with FOX that will continue to bring state-of-the-art broadcasts of Indians games to the fans while strengthening the franchise and enhancing our ability to build competitive teams."
Through its subsidiary FOX Sports Networks (FSN), FOX Sports Media Group is the leader in local sports programming, with 20 owned-and-operated regional sports networks, which collectively produce over 5,000 live local events each year and serve as the exclusive regional TV home to more than half of all MLB, NHL, and NBA teams.