Leila Rahimi Named Main Sports Anchor at NBC 5 Chicago (2024)

The Dallas Stars have entered into a seven-year agreement with A Parent Media Co. Inc. (APMC) enabling all regional telecasts of the team games to be streamed for free beginning in the 2024-25 season. Live game broadcasts will be available to watch on VICTORY+, a new direct-to-consumer service created by both the Stars and APMC. The free ad-supported streaming service will be available for download on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones beginning in September 2024, ensuring fans within the team’s regional territory will be able to watch the games. Fans who are located outside of this area, which consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, will be able to utilize VICTORY+ and watch ancillary content from the team.

“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+,” Brad Alberts, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Stars, said in a statement. “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.”

Jason Walsh, former FOX Sports executive producer and Dallas Stars vice president of broadcasting, will be working for APMC to lead VICTORY+ and deliver stellar broadcast quality. The Stars are the first client of VICTORY+, which will look to implement additional sports teams in the future with advertising as its primary driver of revenue. The service will utilize APMC’s ad-tech solution Safe Exchange to facilitate direct and programmatic advertising on the service to grant clientele access to the full audience.

“With more than a decade of safe streaming and monetization experience, we are excited to expand beyond Kidoodle.TV and Dude Perfect into sports,” Neil Gruninger, president and chief executive officer of APMC, said in a statement. “This presents a remarkable opportunity to collaborate with the Dallas Stars, an organization that is prioritizing their fans. Leveraging our digital expertise, we aim to create a cutting-edge platform that unites fans, teams, athletes, content providers, advertisers and brands in a unique streaming service that celebrates them all collectively.”

The news comes just days after Diamond Sports Group and the Dallas Stars mutually agreed to terminate their television broadcasting contract as the regional sports network owner continues to dwindle its portfolio. Stars games were previously available to watch on Bally Sports Southwest and available to stream utilizing the Bally Sports+ app in addition to other teams in the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association. With this move, Diamond Sports Group currently has the rights to nine NHL teams after it had previously carried 12 clubs before entering into Ch. 11 bankruptcy.

“Rejection of the Stars Agreement is well within the Debtors’ business judgment and is in the best interest of their estates,” Diamond Sports Group said in a court filing issued last Wednesday. “As a result of the Debtors’ ongoing analysis of its team rights portfolio, the Debtors have determined that the costs associated with performing under the Stars Agreement for its remaining term, including payment of substantial rights fees, outweigh the revenues the Debtors are able to obtain through broadcasting Stars games.”

Earlier in the month, the defending Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers moved television rights from Diamond Sports Group’s Bally Sports Florida to Scripps Sports, now broadcasting games on over-the-air networks. Diamond has a confirmation hearing later in the month that is expected to determine the fate of the company after being in Ch. 11 bankruptcy for over a year. The company received a $115 million investment from Amazon that would involve it taking a minority stake in Diamond should its restructuring agreement receive court approval.

Bally Sports Southwest is 90% owned by Diamond Sports Group and 10% owned by the Texas Rangers, which entered into an extension with Diamond through the 2024 season. Mark Cuban, former owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said last November that the team would look at all its options upon the expiration of its deal with Bally Sports Southwest that reportedly lasts through the end of the decade. Bally Sports networks are no longer carried by Comcast or Altice USA after the entities were unable to come to terms on new carriage agreements. Networks owned by Diamond currently reach 84% of U.S. pay TV subscribers, according to court filings from the company.

“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,” Alberts said in a statement.

Leila Rahimi Named Main Sports Anchor at NBC 5 Chicago (2024)

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