After a seven-season absence, Cleveland Indians telecasts will return to FOX Sports Ohio as FOX Sports announced its purchase of SportsTime Ohio on Friday.
SportsTime Ohio (STO) became the cable home of the Indians in 2006 when the organization created the network to air its own games. As part of the purchase of STO, FOX Sports Ohio acquired "exclusive long-term local telecast rights for Indians baseball."
The new television deal is expected to give the Indians franchise additional revenue to be used in player contracts. Last week, Cleveland signed outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher to a four-year, $56 million contract, one of the more lucrative deals of baseball's offseason.
FOX Sports Ohio now holds exclusive TV rights for several major Ohio entities, including the Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Xavier Musketeers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Columbus Crew.
Possible casualties may be Mid-American Conference college and high school sports events, which had been aired on STO.