The new Bellator MMA co-viewing digital fight app is ready for fans to download for free. Bellator, Latin for “Warrior,” was created by former boxing promoter Bjorn Rebney. The Bellator mission is to create, promote and produce the most exciting, competitive and entertaining Mixed Martial Arts competition in the world. This Sports Techie blog takes a look at the Company, their business model and their new Bellator MMA app where fans can now interact as the 4th judge.
The Bellator MMA tournament format is unique in that fighters in each of Bellator’s weight divisions determine their own destiny to become Champion or No. 1 Challenger. This new sports business model is focused on promoting and broadcasting elite, world-class fighters who control their own destiny. The Bellator MMA tournament style is viewer friendly, and it has compelling young fighters who also have impactful stories. The Bellator MMA app is the newest component of the Bellator sportsbiz strategy.
“The Bellator app is truly the first of its kind. It allows our passionate fans to experience the fight as a virtual fourth judge – creating a level of immersion that’s unparalleled in any sport,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports and Multiplatform Events, Spike TV in a press release issued Thursday. “We see this second-screen as a game-changer. The results from the app will actually become part of the on-air discussion. There’s nothing like that in all of sports television.”
Bellator MMA Introducing the App
MMA Thursday Night
Mixed Martial Arts is not new to television. Spike TV was formerly aligned with UFC and delivered unprecedented Ultimate Fighting competition to fans. The UFC and its brand partners stood alone for years, building mindshare, business and equity across the globe. Because they were consistently proactive with television, sponsorships, product extensions and social media, it all paid off making the UFC one of the most successful launch platforms in sport in the past 25 years. The rest is now history; the UFC left Spike for a new business relationship with Fox. As a result, Spike TV and Viacom saw a new MMA partnership opportunity with the Bellator Fighting Championships.
Spike purchased part of Bellator and a new partnership formally began in January. Bellator’s new viewing audience are fans who regularly watch the live fight card for free on TV every Thursday night, a habit established by the UFC. Bellator and Spike TV are taking this relationship into undiscovered territory with the launch of their innovative new app that allows for fans participation as the unofficial fourth judge.
The application is available for free on all platforms. It synchs with the live Spike TV broadcast to deliver fans exclusive real-time fight data. Any Sports Techie can track a wide variety of fighter metrics, and even participate in the on-air broadcast. You are the “The 4th Judge,” who can score rounds with the help of real-time statistics powered by CompuStrike, a service providing data in 26 categories from arm strikes, to takedowns, to submission attempts.
Viewers choices will also be shown live in the screen, giving everyone a look into what the fans think is happening in the cage, which in some cases, may differ from what the actual official judges see. Thursday night broadcasters Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock will share with viewers how fans are voting. The app will also have all the Championship Tournament polling, fighter bio pages and streaming video of many sports and live events. Event venues, sponsors, featured fighters and other details on Season 6 will be announced over the coming months.
Catch Bellator MMA live Thursdays at 10/9c on SPIKE.
*Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Requires iPad 2 and above at the iTunes App Store here:
Sports Techie, Building an opportunity into an app that allows fans to “judge” what is going on is really ahead of the game. The Bellator MMA belief is that fighters should be able to control their own destiny. Now with this first of its kind app, fans can influence announcers’ comments by adding your own analysis of the fight via virtual voting.
I happen to like MMA, other Sports Techies such as my Mom, do not. Whether you like it or not, the MMA is a real sport which is why fans love to support. For me, Bellator MMA best represents the mentality in the Mad Max movie, Beyond Thunderdome, or the attitude of a WWE steel cage match. Two people enter; one person leaves after fighters use their hands, knees, elbows, feet, and heart to determine who fights for the world title.
World-class competitors often come from nowhere. One day the UFC is on top like Lance Armstrong and the next moment things can come crashing down. Whether that actually happens remains to be seen, but one factor that is a difference maker is the new Bellator App.
The app’s intuitive analytics are there to help a Sports Techie understand MMA fight numbers while following the fighting, training and social networking. The beauty of this interactive new app lies in the unique ability Bellator fans now have to vote live, and in real-time, with other viewers as part of the 4th judge. Engaging with the new Bellator app on Thursday night is about to become your new habit.
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