Combat sports fans across the country now have a new favorite channel.
As a combat sports fan you can never get enough adrenaline-fueled action. Any given pay-per-view event on a Saturday or Sunday evening typically lasts between three to four hours. What if you would like to watch a replay, see previous fights leading up to the big event or relive your favorite rivalries?
FITE TV has you covered. The website and smartphone app is now featured as a stand-alone channel on the ROKU streaming service.
According to the press release, “FITE TV today announced the launch of its full-fledged channel on the ROKU streaming platform designed to provide direct access to FITE’s live TV programming and over 5,000 hours of video on demand (VOD) for fans of Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing and Pro Wrestling to explore and watch with the convenience of their ROKU player.”
I spoke with Michael Weber this week, FITE COO, and discovered the origins and direction the company is heading in.
“We launched 19-months ago as a technology company that offers a free app to download and cast programs directly to your smart TV,” said Weber.
Millenials and fight fans of all ages have access to smartphones and TV sets, but many inquired about watching on the web as well.
“About nine months ago we made our programming available on the website (FITE.tv) and now you’re experiencing our next evolution with a full-blown app on the ROKU device,” explained Weber.
With so many organizations around the world offering competitions on cable television, online and PPV, FITE’s mission statement is simple, yet to the point.
“If it happens on a mat, or between the ropes, we put it on our platform,” according to Weber.
The cord-cutting generation has dramatically shifted the way viewers consume sports of any kind in the United States and the COO was quick to point that out.
“The most recent numbers show 22% of viewers in the U.S. do not have cable or satellite as a means to watch television programming,” stated Weber.
“We saw a trend a couple of years ago and it’s not taking anyone by surprise. There’s nothing else out there in the live combat sports world that’s filling this niche. When there’s a big boxing fight or MMA event, you have to buy the PPV or go to a sports bar. Now we’re the other option and it’s working out very well for us,” said Weber.
There’s no subscription fee required to use the FITE ROKU channel. Users can launch the channel and sign up for free to start watching. FITE programming is available on a pay-per-view and ad-supported basis.
“Now available to order and watch straight from the ROKU device are upcoming Live PPV events of top combat sports content from the UFC, Golden Boy Promotions, RIZIN MMA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and many others,” the press release added.
So what can fight fans look forward to on the FITE channel and in 2018?
“We’re always looking for ways to enhance our viewer experience. Fans can now chat on our website and through the app while watching events with friends and our search options gives users recommended content,“ Weber concluded.
With big UFC pay-per-views happening monthly and international fight promotions spanning the globe, FITE’s new streaming service is a viable option for the cord-cutting generation.
This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.
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