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Columbus Crew enters 2019 season with new rights partners

Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew has agreed a new multi-year local broadcast rights deal with SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Ohio.

The deal has been struck ahead of the start of the 2019 MLS season this weekend, with the Crew entering the campaign under a new ownership group that includes Dee and Jimmy Haslam, owners of NFL American football franchise the Cleveland Browns.

For the 2019 season, SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Ohio will be producing and broadcasting 33 Crew matches, as well as 30-minute pre- and post-game shows. All coverage will also stream on Fox Sports Go. STO will broadcast the season-opener against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Fox Sports 1 will be broadcasting one match, the game against FC Cincinnati on Aug 25.

The new deals represent a strengthening of the Crew’s local broadcast footprint, with last season’s matches having been covered by Spectrum Sports and a combination of four Columbus-area television stations.

Columbus Crew president Tim Bezbatchenko said: “One of our core tenets as an organisation is to seek deep engagement with our supporters and so we are pleased that this partnership allows for not only a top-notch broadcasting product, but also offers supporters the added benefit and flexibility to tune-in via the stream on Fox Sports Go.”