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NHL team launch free live TV streaming service to watch games in major broadcasting change as fans say ‘game-changer’

THE Dallas Stars have launched a groundbreaking free streaming service for fans.

The NHL team’s in-market games will be aired on VICTORY+ from next season following the end of a long-standing deal with Bally Sports Southwest.


The Dallas Stars have launched their own free streaming service[/caption]

Dallas Stars Communications

The Stars’ in-market games will now be aired on VICTORY+[/caption]


The NHL team previously had a long-standing deal with Bally Sports Southwest[/caption]

Fans in the Stars regional territory – Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas – will be able to access live games on the free, ad-supported service.

VICTORY+ will be available for download on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones in September.

The move follows the Stars’ new seven-year agreement with A Parent Media Co. Inc.

“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+,” said 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% of Stars content for free through this innovative and unique streaming platform for sports programming.”

The launch of Victory+ follows a mutual decision by Stars and Diamond Sports Group to end their existing rights agreement for games on Bally Sports Southwest.

Bally Sports Southwest had the rights to 70 of the Stars’ 82 regular-season games last season and the first round of the playoffs. 

But many fans had trouble accessing games due to carriage issues facing Diamond Sports Group’s Bally-branded regional sports networks.

The decision was welcomed with huge enthusiasm by Stars fans.

“I’ll be honest. I wasn’t a big enough hockey fan to pay $20 a month on Bally to watch the Stars play, but with this now? I will definitely watch more often. This is great for fans,” one fan said.

“The way of the future. Mavs can’t be far behind,” another fan said.

The Stars are the second NHL team in recent weeks to cut ties with Bally Sports.

The Florida Panthers – who are the Stanley Cup champions – recently moved their in-market games to over-the-air Scripps stations in Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers.

It now remains to be seen if the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and MLB’s Texas Rangers will stick with Bally Sports Southwest.

The Stars have been preparing to launch their own streaming service for months amid Bally’s woes.

“We have to be prepared,” Alberts said in February, per the Dallas Morning News.

“It’s all about where is Bally? Do we have an RSN or not? 

“We have to have contingency plans. This certainly is an option if Bally isn’t an option.”

Alberts called the ongoing woes with Bally “one of the most complicated business issues” he’s ever dealt with.

“Certainly, the challenge is to fix the two problems that we have right now, which is distribution and money to the teams.”

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