Shawne Merriman Turns on Lights Out Sports Streamer

 Shawne Merriman.
Shawne Merriman.

Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman has soft-launched Lights Out Sports, a free ad-supported sports streaming service.

Lights Out Sports will offer content from a number of sports programmers including Glory Kickboxing, World Poker Tour, Swerve Combat,, Streetbeefs, Outdoor America, Speedvision, Cineverse, the American 7s Football League (A7FL) and Merriman’s own mixed martial arts outfit, Lights Out Xtreme Fighting. Several of those are already available through the app.

Since retiring from football, Merriman has done a lot of work in the media business, on air with several networks and behind the scenes, helping to launch the WWE’s network.

“This is a big undertaking,” Merriman told Broadcasting+Cable. “You’ve got to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row and everybody's on the same page. We want to make sure that all the partners coming feel confident that they’re getting a full service.”

Lights Out Sports
Lights Out Sports

Merriman, whose nickname as player was “Lights Out,” says more sports content partners are waiting to climb into the ring with Lights Out Sports.

The service will feature a variety of sports-only content, including live games, highlights and interviews with top athletes. In the future, he’s hoping to add sports-themed movies and original series.

On May 18th, Lights Out Xtreme Fighting’s Lights Out 16 event will stream on Lights Out Sports, with 19 matches scheduled for what is expected to be a five-hour show.

Lights Out Sports will be available on the Roku, Apple iOS and Android TV connected-TV platforms, with more to come, Merriman said.

“The cool thing is that interest level and the excitement around this coming from all of the content partners,” he said. “It was really inspiring to me, because they got it.”

Merriman said he’s fortunate to have been able to work at places like NFL Network, Fox Sports, ESPN and WWE after his playing career.

“The experience that I’ve been able to gather over these 12-plus years has just been unprecedented,” he said. “It goes a long way when you're building out something of this magnitude.”

At Lights Out Xtreme Fighting, Merriman has been working to develop a system for generating real-time data about matches using five cameras and sensors in the combatants’ gloves.

A February test of the system during a card that appeared on Fubo went well, Merriman said.

The fighters weren’t bothered by the sensors, which delivered data about punch frequency, velocity and power. The company is developing an algorithm designed to make that data available to viewers.

“That was, for me, the most nerve-wracking thing — were the fighters going to be comfortable with the chip being there — and everybody said, ‘No, I didn’t even feel it,” he said.

Merriman hopes to have the algorithm working by the May 18 card that will stream on Lights Out Sports.

“The object is to have that data instantly available and we’re very close to doing it,” he said.