On new SportsTime Ohio, a lot stays the same
Sunday marks the first Indians Spring Training broadcast on television, and fans have wondered what’s in store after Fox Sports acquired SportsTime Ohio this past offseason.
And while there will be changes to the appearance on SportsTime Ohio, most everything else will remain the same, including the name SportsTime Ohio.
Also remaining the same are the on-air personalities that have marked Indians TV broadcasts for many years: Matt Underwood, Rick Manning, Al Pawlowski and Jason Stanford will return to their roles, while in-game reporter Katie Witham’s responsibilities will expand: She’ll travel with the team as well, and will be more closely connected to the dugout and clubhouse areas to bring viewers more real-time information as games progress.
Plus, “All Bets Are Off,” with Bruce Drennan, will return, as will “Chuck’s Last Call,” SportsTime Ohio’s late-night show that often appears directly after Indians games. On Opening Day, April 8, with first pitch set for 4:05, “All Bets Are Off” will air from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and a special one-hour pregame show will air on Sports Time Ohio at 3.
What will change is part of the station’s branding, which will be “Fox-ified.” The Fox shield, as shown in the above picture, is now included and a prominent part of the SportsTime Ohio logo. In addition, the “Fox Box” – the network’s in-game display of score, count and runners on base – will be featured in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen. Fox’s iconic theme music – best described as, “duh duh duh duh duh duh DUH, duh duh duh duh duh duh DUH!” – also will be incorporated to the broadcasts on SportsTime Ohio.
Fox Sports executives said last week that SportsTime Ohio will benefit from the backing of Fox’s national network and regional sports networks. For instance: If the Fox RSN in Minneapolis tries something new that works, Fox can implement in other local markets. Or, vice versa: Fox can try new things with SportsTime Ohio, and implement elsewhere.
SportsTime Ohio will carry six Spring Training games:
- Sunday, March 17, 4:05 ET
- Monday, March 18, 4:05 ET
- Thursday, March 21, 4:10 ET
- Friday, March 22, 10:05 ET
- Sunday, March 24, 4:05 ET
- Tuesday, March 26, 4:05 ET
The network also will carry 159 regular-season games.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond