Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza, UFC president Dana White and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe’s persistent instructions to fight fans wanting to see Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor to buy the pay-per-view fight in advance of their Aug. 26 showdown may have been less about posturing and more about sound advice.
There was legitimate concern regarding how the surge of purchases on the day of the fight — which saw Mayweather defeat McGregor by 10th round TKO — would affect the servers. After all, this was the first time a fight would be available for purchase on so many different platforms. But due to a overwhelming demand for the fight, reports of outages, grainy video, error messaging, buffering and the like plagued fans at home who ponied up the $99.99 to see the fight.
And now that the fight is over inside of the ring, Showtime has to turn its attention to a new battle outside of the ring as a class action lawsuit has been filed against the network from unhappy customers who had numerous streaming issues.
The problems spread across multiple platforms as the Showtime app and the UFC app all had reports of outages. So much so, in fact, that the start of the fight had to be delayed as they attempted to get the issues sorted out.
Nevertheless, not everyone was happy with what they paid for and the lawsuit seeks payment of the class actual damages or $200 in statutory damages, whichever is greater.
“Instead of being upfront with consumers about its new, untested, underpowered service, defendant caused likelihood of confusion and misunderstanding as to the source and quality of the HD video consumers would see on fight night,” wrote attorney Michael Fuller in the complaint filed Saturday in Oregon. “Defendant intentionally misrepresented the quality and grade of video consumers would see using its app, and knowingly failed to disclose that its system was defective with respect to the amount of bandwidth available, and that defendant’s service would materially fail to conform to the quality of HD video defendant promised.”
Oregon consumers who attempted to watch the fight on the Showtime app on iTunes is part of the proposed class. The complaint states that they were unable to watch the fight live and “”in HD at 1080p resolution and at 60 frames per second, and who experienced ongoing grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls instead.”
The Hollywood Reporter obtained an email from Pay-Per-View live events that asks unsatisfied customers to contact their service provider for a refund.
“Unfortunately, we are receiving a huge number of complaints from a large number of customers who are not using our services but a different provider (UFC),” says the message. “We can only express that we understand your pain for not being able to see the special event but again we are not the company that provided the stream or actual event. You will need to contact the actual provider such as Xfinity, Showtime, HBO, UFC.tv etc to request your refund.”
More Mayweather-McGregor coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Mayweather picks up big TKO win over McGregor
• McGregor unhappy with stoppage: ‘Let the man put me down!’
• Sports world reacts to Mayweather’s 50th career win
• Why was Floyd Mayweather wearing a ski mask?