Sep. 20, 2009; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman yells prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Sep. 20, 2009; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman yells prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Shawne Merriman is entering the streaming wars.

According to Broadcasting+Cable, the former All-Pro linebacker has soft launched a new streaming service called Lights Out Sports. The free ad-supported streamer will contain a variety of sports programming, including Glory Kickboxing, World Poker Tour, Swerve Combat, Chess.com, Streetbeefs, Outdoor America, Speedvision, Cineverse, the American 7s Football League (A7FL) and Merriman’s own MMA promotion, Lights Out Xtreme Fighting.

“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.”

Since retiring from the NFL following his eight-year career, the three-time Pro Bowl selection made appearances as an analyst on the WWE Network, NFL Network, Fox Sports and ESPN and was linked to potential fight appearances in MMA and bareknuckle fighting, although none ever came to fruition. In 2019, he launched Lights Out Extreme Fighting, which will host a 19-match card — Lights Out 16 — on Merriman’s new streaming service on May 18.

Lights Out Sports will initially be available on Roku, Apple iOS and Android TV connected-TV platforms. Merriman says there are plans to add the service to more platforms in the future.

“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.”

While Lights Out Sports’ current lineup doesn’t contain much in terms of mainstream properties, it is a fairly impressive collection of offerings — at least in terms of variety — especially considering the competitive nature of the current streaming landscape. To that end, it will be interesting to see how the streaming service performs moving forward and whether it’s ultimately acquired by a bigger platform down the road.

[Broadcasting+Cable]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.