Dallas Stars May Replace Bally Sports with Free Streaming Service

The Dallas Stars are exploring a direct-to-consumer streaming service to offer games for free as a contingency plan due to uncertainties with their current broadcaster, Bally Sports Southwest, amidst its financial struggles and the changing landscape of sports broadcasting.

The Dallas Stars are stepping into new territory. They’re exploring life beyond Bally Sports, eyeing a future where fans can stream games without spending a dime.

Brad Alberts, the team’s CEO, spilled the beans to the Dallas Morning News. The gist? They’re brainstorming a direct-to-consumer service. Why? Because the future of their regional sports channel, Bally Sports Southwest, is up in the air.

“Where’s Bally at?” Alberts pondered. “Got an RSN, or no?” It’s all about having a backup plan, he explained. And if Bally’s out, this could be their golden ticket.

Bally Sports Southwest isn’t in the best shape, to be honest. Owned by Diamond Sports Group, they’re tangled up in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Lia Assimakopoulos pointed out another hiccup: the channel’s missing from popular platforms like YouTube TV and Hulu. That’s a bummer for Stars fans.

And the cost? Not exactly wallet-friendly. Local fans are looking at $19.99 a month or $189.99 for the season through the Bally Sports+ app. That’s to catch the Mavericks, Stars, and Wings in action. Rangers games? That’s extra. Meanwhile, fans living elsewhere can snag NHL Power Play on ESPN+ for half that price.

Introducing a free service could shake things up. Especially with the Stars shining bright in the Central Division. Think about it: more eyes on the team could mean more local and regional sponsorships. That could easily offset, maybe even outdo, the losses from ditching a paid platform.

The Stars aren’t alone in this. They’re part of a growing trend of pro teams exploring new ways to reach fans locally and regionally. As Diamond Sports holds out for a savior, teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes are mixing paid streaming with traditional broadcasts.

Even outside hockey, teams are getting creative. The Phoenix Suns and Mercury have jumped to broadcast TV, offering a paid service for fans. And some NBA teams? They’re starting to move select games from Bally Sports channels to free TV.

So, yeah. The landscape’s changing. And the Dallas Stars? They’re right in the thick of it, ready to try something new.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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