By: Albert Miller – This week’s Friday 5ive began as an experiment. The hypothesis: how much combat sports (MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing, etc.) could I consume without spending a dime? The experiment: turn to all of my streaming outlets (Roku, PC, Android) and obtain as many trusted channels as I could. The result: I got to watch a buttload of fights without spending a single dollar.
I need to be extremely clear: services like FloCombat and Go Fight Live are the kind of services that are advancing combat sports of all types. When you put money down on one of their events, not one of those dollars are wasted. You stay current with the global implications of fights and you get to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing who the next big thing is. All of the streaming channels that I am recommending is a replacement for pay-per-view streams, but as complements to those services to maximize your exposure to fights.
Note: Some of these services are “Freemium,” meaning that you can pay to get live fights or better features. For our article, we’ve chosen to stick with the free part of the channel.
No. 5: Combat Sports (Roku) – This channel is dedicated to the boxing competitions between the Armed Forces, and if I’m not mistaken, actually draws their programming from the Armed Forces Network. The fights are amateur boxing bouts (which makes little difference to me, as I am still improving my understanding of boxing), and it’s always on. There are a few reasons why this channel was ranked so low. Chief amongst those reasons is that it’s a continual loop, like cable television is, and I have to be sated with whatever is on at the moment that I turn the channel on. Being that the channel is surrounding a boxing tournament, I find it extremely difficult to follow. An on-demand menu would be nice, or perhaps somewhere to get information. At the end of the day, it’s boxing, and I’m not paying for it.
No. 4: Golden Boy (Roku) – Remember when I said earlier this year that boxing would begin making moves against the UFC to try and wrest market share? While the Golden Boy Roku Channel is nowhere near a competitor for Fight Pass, it does make Golden Boy visible to the impulse viewer, especially considering that no monetary exchange has to be made. Where the Golden Boy channel gets ranked over Combat Sports is that there is an On-Demand menu and recognizable names (because it’s pro boxing). The downside, and the relatively low ranking is that the channel hasn’t added fights in years. It’s the same showcase of fights (full fights, by the way) that was on last year. The “live events clips” are promo videos from when Canelo Alvarez fought Miguel Cotto in 2015. Golden Boy has a great foundation for something that will be a great promotional tool for upcoming events.
No. 3: My Combat Channel (Roku) – Now we’re talking! A streaming channel that has multiple fight promotions, news, and even movies! When you talk about fights for free, you always run the risk of fights being cut short or truncated; these are full fights! The reason that this channel is getting it’s mid-card ranking is that it has fights relevant to our fight circuit; promotions like XFC and NAAFS contribute fights to the channel. The downside is that I’m fairly certain that the channel and product has been abandoned, so the channel is best served as a history piece. Don’t let that deter you, there is still a plethora of very good fights to be viewed without spending a dime! The reason that I ranked this channel over Golden Boy is that there is a lot more of a fight selection, and the concept was a lot more thorough. At this stage, being that both are history books for fights, My Combat Channel steals the number 3 spot.
No. 2: Ring TV (Roku) – I’ve been calling for boxing to get on the promotional model of having a TV show that makes rankings and fight progressions easier to digest and follow. Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) must have been listening, because that’s exactly what they’ve been doing with their cards on multiple channels. Ring TV and Golden Boy have really struck gold with their “LA Fight Club” series; regular boxing that showcases Golden Boy’s stable of fighters. What makes that gem of information pertinent is that Ring TV also airs replays of LA Fight Club (on a pretty significant tape delay). The channel, an asset of the company that publishes the Ring Magazine, has interviews, fights, specials, and a lot of complementary content. What pegs this channel so high is that, while delayed, the content is more current than the channels before them. Remember when the world lost its mind over Ronda Rousey being on the cover of the Ring? They posted an interview with her. The channel has a slew of classic fights (not that classic) and other content to get your fight fix when you need it.
No. 1: FITE TV (Android) – Full disclosure: I haven’t heard anyone else in the fight world say that they use this app; so the fact that I do means that I might be giving my cellphone some serious diseases. The app (aside from potential STD’s that a cellphone can get) has everything that I’ve griped about: On-demand features, menus, regularly updated content. It also has the added benefit of pay-per-view, free live fight cards, and user uploaded content. FITE TV is available on web browsers, and comes complete with MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing, and pro wrestling. In fact, the FITE TV service also has movies and documentaries on all sorts of topics related to combat sports. If you use the Chromecast stick, you can actually cast the FITE TV app to your TV, and you have yourself live stream of a free fight without having to crane your neck. The FITE app has even more current episodes of LA Fight Club than the Ring TV channel. Aside from the unknown of app reliability, I couldn’t recommend this app any higher.
Thank you for joining us for this week’s Friday 5ive! Make sure you stay tuned to CageNationTV.com this week for this Sunday’s Prizefight Podcast!
Until next time: Fights, Cameron, Action!