Dec 28 News Corp said on Friday it
bought SportsTime Ohio, a regional sports network based in
Cleveland that broadcasts Cleveland Indians baseball games.
The company did not disclose financial details of the deal.
A source close to the matter said on Friday the deal was worth
roughly $230 million, which Reuters first reported on Dec. 3
The network also airs programming about the Cleveland Browns
National Football League team, college football and high school
News Corp said in a statement that the regional sports
channel it already owns, called Fox Sports Ohio, will receive
the long-term rights to air Cleveland Indians baseball games.
That regional Fox channel is available in 5 million homes.
Fox Sports, which operates or holds stakes in 20 regional
sports networks, provides sports programming to more than 67
million subscribers. It held the rights to Cleveland Indians
games until 2006.
New York-based News Corp has been stepping up efforts to
control the rights to key sports teams in response to Time
Warner Cable Inc's $3 billion deal in February 2011 to
carry the Los Angeles Lakers basketball games on its Time Warner
Last month, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said it would buy a
49 percent stake in the YES network, a sports channel controlled
by the New York Yankees baseball team, a deal that sources said
was valued at $3 billion. Reuters has reported that Fox is also
negotiating a 25-year extension of its existing agreement to
carry Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games and could pay as much
as $6 billion for those rights.
News Corp is planning to separate its publishing and
entertainment assets into two publicly traded companies next
year. News Corp's regional sports networks, film and television
businesses, which currently include the 20th Century Fox film
studio, Fox broadcasting network and Fox News channel, will be
part of the renamed parent company that will be called Fox