Fox Sports Acquires SportsTime Ohio

By Community | January 2, 2013

News Corporation’s (NWSA) Fox Sports Media Group has acquired SportsTime Ohio, a Cleveland based regional sports network, according to Reuters.

The acquisition is expected to enhance its portfolio of regional sports channels and strengthen the company’s Fox Sports Media Group’s position in the lucrative sports entertainment business, where it competes with Walt Disney Company’s (DIS) sports coverage network, ESPN.

Moreover, with the buyout, News Corp. gained exclusive long-term local broadcasting rights for Cleveland Indians baseball games. The move will also facilitate the company to generate incremental revenues through advertising and subscriptions.

Earlier, in a similar move, the company entered into a deal to acquire 49% stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES). The agreement also provides an option to the diversified media conglomerate to increase its stake up to 80% after three years.

News Corporation strives to add diverse revenue streams to hedge against the persisting economic volatility. The company is also focusing on the emerging markets to consolidate its media business, since these regions have millions of viewers.

The company remains on track to split into two separate publicly traded publishing and media and entertainment entities. There has been immense pressure from shareholders to divest the publishing arm, which has been grappling with lower operating profit compared with the entertainment unit.