David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
It's been reported for several weeks now that FOX Sports was in talks to acquire Sports Time Ohio, but now it's official.
From their press release:
LOS ANGELES and CLEVELAND – December 28, 2012 – FOX Sports Media Group and SportsTime Ohio today 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.
There's as yet no details on the terms of the broadcast rights (how long, how much money the Indians are getting), or the future of STO. Will Indians games continue to be broadcast on STO, or will they be aired on FOX Sports Ohio instead, with STO being turned into FOX Sports Ohio 2? With the acquisition of STO, FOX Sports Ohio will have the broadcast rights to just about every Ohio professional and college team, including the Indians, Reds, Cavaliers, Blue Jackets, the MAC, and the OHSAA.
Update: Hoynes has some numbers:
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- FOX Sports has purchased SportsTime Ohio for an estimated $230 million. The purchase gives Fox an estimated 10-year deal to broadcast Indians games worth an estimated $400 million.
FOX will pay the Indians about $40 million in rights fees per season to broadcast their games. STO was paying the Indians an estimated $30 million a year in right fees.
So the Indians will be getting roughly $10M more per year in rights fees than they were under STO.