FITE TV Eyes Addition of Music and Motorsports Verticals (Exclusive)

COO Mike Weber is targeting “underserved” live-streaming opportunities to expand platform beyond combat sports

Mike Weber
Courtesy of Fite TV

FITE TV is looking to expand past combat sports and into the world of music and motorsports, two verticals that are “underserved,” the company’s COO Mike Weber told TheWrap. “Music and motorsports are a comparable vertical that would work using our platform,” said Weber, who noted that the NFL, MLB and NBA all already have well-established platforms for their content, so it didn’t make sense to launch verticals in those areas. “But we see music and motorsports as being underserved, and so we’re exploring those areas.” FITE TV wouldn’t be the first streaming service to build a business providing niche content to underserved audiences. Streamers, such as FloSports — which offers Brazlian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), horse racing, motorsports, and bowling coverage — has created a strong presence for itself by doing just that. And Twitch, Amazon’s gaming-centric livestream platform, attracts 15 million users a day with content that ranges from sports to gameplay to wrestling. At this point, the company is only experimenting with the idea of expansion and didn’t provide further details on what the verticals might look like or the specific content each would stream. The company also is looking into other verticals that compliment the platform, but did not share specifics. “There might be a few other areas, but those are the ones that jump out at me with the most opportunity right now,” said Weber. The real challenge for any streaming service is connecting its users with compelling enough content that keeps the viewer on the platform for longer periods of time. But Weber is confident that the technology behind the FITE TV streaming platform would have no problem directing users to content that resonates. “Not only do we have good streaming technology, we have good search and recommendation engines in our platform — sort of like Netflix,” he said. Launched in 2016, FITE TV offers free and pay-per-view programming for live events, shows, movies and documentaries in collaboration with over 20 organizations including TNA Wrestling, Tuff-N-Uff MMA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, and Legacy Fighting Championships. The platform, which has new partnerships with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and British free-to-air television channel ITV, now has 1.5 million registered users and airs 2,000 live events per year, becoming the leading digital distributor for the industry’s marquee events.