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Indians’ new local television deal with FOX worth $400 million for 10 seasons

Jan 2, 2013, 10:21 AM EDT

television money

Last week FOX purchased Sportstime Ohio and the right to broadcast Indians games and now we have some details about the deal, with Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting that the Indians are expected to get $400 million for 10 seasons.

That includes $40 million for 2013, which helps explains their sudden spending on free agents like Nick Swisher, Brett Myers, and Mark Reynolds.

According to Hoynes the Indians received $33 million in 2012, so the new deal represents an increase of more than 20 percent in revenue and puts them solidly ahead of teams like the AL Central rival Twins in terms of local television revenue.

  1. hushbrother - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Good for the Tribe. Still, this isn’t Dodgers/Angels/Yankees-level money they’re getting, so the trick is going to be, spending this money wisely.

    • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Cleveland is not a Los Angeles/New York level city either.

  2. stex52 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Actually, as the Dodgers/Angels/Yankees have demonstrated, no matter how much you bring in it is still an issue to spend it wisely.

    • stabonerichard - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Well, sure. I think of it kinda like a poker tourney. Say you had a mini-tourney with 3 tables (i.e. 30 players), and a few lucky schmucks started play with twice as many chips as the rest of the pack. Definitely wouldn’t guarantee anything as far as winning the whole thing–easy to squander that advantage thru poor decisions, poor luck, etc.–but certainly a nice cushion to have while trying to earn a spot at the final table/playoffs.

  3. coryfor3 - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    That’s what they spent the new money on. Swisher and Reynolds. Wow.

    • El Bravo - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Yep. Still laughing.

    • paperlions - Jan 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      They are far far more likely to get their money’s worth out of each of those guys than the Angels are for Pujols or Hamilton.

      • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        Swisher’s contract will be a question mark long term, but he can play 1b (a weakness in the Indians farm system) or even DH in the last part of it.

    • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Not sure why you don’t like the signings – both Swisher and Reynolds help against left handed pitching, something the Indians had huge problems with last season. Are there players you would have rather seen them sign?

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Guaranteed they still cry “small market” when they don’t sign free agents or keep the ones they have

    • stex52 - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Sadly, 40 MM$ per year is still pretty small market for the new broadcast deals coming out.

      Even the embarrassingly awful Astros are getting 80 MM$ per year plus a share of profits from their new deal.

      The free agent market is destined to beome completely insane.

      • MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        True but teams still make a good chunk of change from revenue sharing merchandise etc.The whole “we can’t compete with the big markets “excuse rings hollow.The Royals owner is a multi billionaire Walmart CEO for Pete sake!In my opinion if you can’t afford to pay your players you shouldn’t own a team.Thats how it works in the real world.

      • stex52 - Jan 2, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Point taken.

      • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        You have to be wise enough to know who to sign. The Indians signed Hafner and Sizemore to long term contracts, and now are happy to get rid of both of them. Trading Lee, Sabathia and Martinez, in theory, were the right ideas – but neither return was what it needed to be to make the trades work. The Indians will never be able to keep all of their players, even with this influx of revenue, it is still extremely important the Indians draft well, invest in foreign free agents (as much as the new CBA allows) and make smart trades. They’ve not done really well on those in the past, but the drafting looks to be improving.

    • dnc6 - Jan 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      You have completely failed to demonstrate why that would be incorrect or improper. The Indians are in a small market, and it has been shown that they can’t pay free agents like most other markets.

      • MyTeamsAllStink - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:48 PM

        Then please explain to the class how teams like the Rays are able to keep players and be competitive when they are a small market themselves.

      • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        The Rays actually don’t keep all their players. They were wise to make the trade with the Royals, for instance, and i expect, in a few years, Myers will be dealt off to someone else. They are one of, if not the, best run organizations in MLB, but lets not paint a picture that just isn’t true.

    • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Hopefully they will continue to do what they did – turn one year of Choo into a few years of Trevor Bauer, and then replace Choo in the lineup with Swisher. Its been the best off season for the Indians in a damn long time.

  5. tvguy22 - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Sheesh, those Cleveland fans get all the breaks. Sarcasm alert.

    • acrank - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Beats the crap out of signing Johnny Damon.

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