FITE TV has added a UK office to be led by Ben Halab, who previously served as head of ITV Box Office.
ITV Box Office, which was the UK pay-per-view home of AEW, ceased operations on Jan. 24. ITV issued a comment to Fightful at the time, saying all AEW pay-per-view events would be dealt with by FITE TV.
FITE Adds UK Office Led by Ben Halabi as SVP, International Business Development
Halabi, formerly of ITV, brings 20 years of industry experience to this newly created role, to lead global content acquisition and partnerships for the streaming platform
NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- FITE, the leading digital combat sports platform, announced today that Ben Halabi will be joining the company as Senior Vice President, International Business Development. In this new role, Halabi will help cement FITE's position as the number one combat sports streaming service in the UK and globally, and expand FITE's portfolio into other sports verticals.
Ben Halabi has served as an entertainment executive at leading television companies including ITV, the largest UK commercial channel, Channel 4 and CBS. Most recently, he held the role of Head of ITV Box Office, ITV's Pay Per View service, working with clients such as AEW, PBC, and WBSS. This dovetails with the primary business model of FITE as the majority of its content offerings are live Pay Per View events.
"The content world is changing rapidly. I see new sports opportunities opening up in the UK on a daily basis, and this is the optimal time to be joining an exciting digital platform like FITE," noted Halabi. "FITE has built a first-class scalable global platform and I can't wait to contribute to the company's expansion plans."
The new FITE office in the UK, the second biggest and fast-growing market for FITE after the USA, establishes a permanent base for this region of the world. 2019 was an explosive growth year for FITE which reached 2.2M registered users and 3 times year-over-year PPV order growth, and broke through as a top 8 grossing sports app globally in November. In the period the company expanded its international footprint significantly, growing its non-US revenues over 6 times year-over-year.
FITE streamed more than 1,000 live events last year with 250+ content partnerships, including the addition of major new partners, All Elite Wrestling, Top Rank, PBC, ONE Championship, Matchroom Boxing, and Combate Americas. In 2019, FITE also started offering subscription packages to its viewers in selected countries, including AEW+, Impact+ and Honor Club.
"I've known and respected Ben for several years," said Kosta Jordanov, CEO of FITE. "He is the perfect executive to lead our UK expansion, and I am thrilled that he is joining our executive team. Ben's experience, talent and mindset will be invaluable in our continued journey to help global fans discover and watch premium live events, and help programmers to distribute and monetize them."