Dallas Stars Depart Bally Sports; Launch New VICTORY+ Free DTC Ad-Supported Streaming Service

The free service will be a 100% streaming alternative for local sports broadcasts, with advertising as its main revenue driver.

The NHL’s Dallas Stars are the latest franchise to depart the regional sports network model, announcing a free direct-to-consumer streaming service dubbed VICTORY+. Last week, the Stars and Diamond Sports Group-owned Bally Sports Southwest ended their rights agreement and, on Monday, the team announced a seven-year agreement with A Parent Media Co. (APMC) to stream all regional Dallas Stars games free of charge beginning with the 2024-25 season via the new service.  The free VICTORY+ service will be a 100% streaming alternative for local sports broadcasts, with advertising as its main revenue driver.

“After years of researching the right solution and careful planning with our partners at APMC, we’re proud to announce this pioneering streaming platform that will literally change the game for sports distribution on VICTORY+,” says Dallas Stars President and CEO Brad Alberts. “Our first priority has always been our fan base, and on VICTORY+ fans will be able to stream 100 percent of Stars content for free through this innovative and unique streaming platform for sports programming. Despite the mutual agreement between the Dallas Stars and Diamond Sports Group to end our current relationship pending court approval, we would like to acknowledge that we wouldn’t be here today without the partnership and commitment of Bally Sports and their staff over the past 25 years and thank them for their partnership.”

VICTORY+ will be available for download on smart TVs, tablets and smart phones in September 2024 ensuring fans within the Dallas Stars regional territory (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas) can enjoy content wherever they are on their preferred device. Fans outside the Stars regional territory will still be able to enjoy VICTORY+ to watch ancillary content provided by the team.

The service will be offered as a free ad-supported streaming service, making it accessible without barriers and enhancing the fan experience with a low-latency feed and high ad-fill rate for a superior viewing experience. Utilizing APMC’s ad-tech solution Safe Exchange will allow both direct and programmatic ads on the service ensuring advertisers can have full access to the engaged audience base.

APMC has hired former FOX Sports Executive Producer and Dallas Stars Vice President of Broadcasting Jason Walsh to lead VICTORY+. Walsh’s experience in production puts VICTORY+ in a unique position to take on additional teams and to scale VICTORY+ into a larger destination for fans.

Alberts told SBJ that the team is weighing the possibility of bringing “a small package” of local games to a linear network in the region, but nothing is imminent on that front. Unless a local broadcast agreement is reached, the only Stars games that will air on linear television within the team’s local
broadcast territory will be national broadcasts carried on ESPN and TNT Sports.

Dallas joins two other NHL franchises who recently departed DSG: the former Arizona Coyotes (now the Utah Hockey Club), and the Florida Panthers – both of whom signed OTA broadcast deals with Scripps Sports and will launch their own DTC streaming services. In addition, the Vegas Golden Knights, which is now also with Scripps Sports and has its own DTC streaming service, and the Seattle Kraken, which are moving their local broadcasts to TENGA affiliate stations in the Pacific Northwest and will stream games on Prime Video, departed Root Sports Rocky Mountain and Root Sports Northwest RSNs, respectively.

The Dallas Stars will be the service’s first client and it plans to add additional professional sports teams in the near future. Utilizing proprietary streaming and monetization technologies, APMC currently reaches millions of homes globally through its products including Kidoodle.TV, Dude Perfect Streaming Service, Glitch+, and Safe Exchange.

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