US media group News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) may unveil an agreement this week to acquire sports TV channel SportsTime Ohio from the Cleveland Indians baseball team for USD230m (EUR175.8m), Reuters reported today quoting unnamed sources.
The transaction, if successful, will be the group’s second purchase of a regional sports channel since last month, when it agreed to buy a 49% stake in cable channel operator Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network LLC, doing business as YES Network.
Through the acquisition of SportsTime Ohio, News Corp’s Fox Sports unit would get the rights to broadcast the Major League Baseball team’s games, two of the sources said. According to one of the insiders, Cleveland Indians’ owner Larry Dolan insisted that the deal be completed by the end of December.
News Corp did not respond to Reuters’ emails. In addition, Reuters could not get in touch with representatives of Cleveland Indians and SportsTime Ohio.
SportsTime Ohio was established in 2006 by Dolan. Prior to that Fox Sports held the rights to Cleveland Indians games. It is not clear yet whether the channel will remain independent following the deal or will be combined with Fox Sports.