Thursday, July 28, 2011

Updates on STO Possibly Being for Sale (Updated)

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 9:30 AM

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Update: Following up on our reports from earlier this month that STO was for sale, Waiting For Next Year now reports that their sources say SportsTime Ohio will soon be sold to either Fox Sports Ohio or Time Warner Cable. A little more detail on the reasoning for STO hitting the open market: despite strong Tribe ratings, the Indians alone aren't enough to sustain the network. Shocking. Here we thought you could run a network on the backs of Bruce Drennan and Chuck Galeti and roll around in the bathtub of cash that follows. Guess we were wrong.

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Earlier this month, we reported that a source had told Scene that SportsTime Ohio, the Indians' television network, was up for sale.

Crain's Cleveland report Joel Hammond followed up a week later (not sure how we missed this the first time around, but here it is) and delivered, well, more information, but not really. More like none-denial denials from STO and hints that there can be fire even where there is no smoke, because for all the "no comment"ing going on, it sure feels like something is up. Hammond concludes that if STO is being shopped by the Dolans, it's being done quietly, but that it might make business sense giving the timing and circumstances. Here's what's been added to the rumor pile:


STO president Jim Liberatore [who didn't return Scene's calls seeking comment] said I'd have to talk to the Dolans about it, though he did say that in his experience — he's a veteran of the television industry, as noted in this Crain's profile of colleague Pat Kilkenney — these discussions take place all the time between various executives in the business.

Paul Dolan, Larry's son and chairman and CEO of the Cleveland Indians, did not return a call.

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