On Saturday night, UFC fans tuned in to watch Floyd Mayweather come out of retirement to fight Conor McGregor in his boxing debut.
The fight received an inordinate amount of hype and with it plenty of viewers who were interested to see if the world’s number one boxer could defeat the best mixed martial artist in the pay-per-view boxing match at the T-Mobile Arena.
After two years of retirement, 40-year-old Mayweather returned with a tenth round TKO, raising his undefeated record to 50-0.
Unfortunately, not all of those who paid to watch the legendary fight were able to see it due to technical difficulties. UFC apps experienced delays and streaming problems while other viewers were unable to watch the fight entirely due to outages reported in a few states.
UFC was only one of the providers that experienced problems on the night of the high-profile boxing match. Other providers including Showtime, Verizon, and Comcast also experienced broadcasting issues.
Viewing the superfight on pay-per-view cost customers $99. Viewers who purchased the fight, but did not get the chance to see it took drastic steps to ensure they would receive a refund.
In Oregon on Monday, a class action lawsuit was filed in federal court against Showtime in connection to the broadcasting issues. In the lawsuit, customers claimed Showtime subjected them to “grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls.”
The lawsuit was filed by Zack Bartel from Portland, who claimed Showtime rushed the streaming service to sale without confirming that it had the necessary bandwidth to handle that amount of viewers. An estimate of 4.6 million orders were placed for the epic fight.
“I’ve already spoken to one person who is frustrated about the situation,” said Hart Robinovitch, a litigator from Phoenix who is an expert on class-action lawsuits. “The people who paid $100 and then bought food and beer had their night ruined. The main thing you have to consider is what are they going to do for these people?”
“Bringing a class action on behalf of people affected negatively is the best shot at recovering the purchase price (if no refund is offered),” continued Robinovitch. “It would be difficult to get ancillary damages (for the costs of a fight party) since everyone’s experience is different. But what they all have in common is that they paid $100, satisfying their end of the deal, and weren’t able to watch the fight.”
Some commented on Twitter that they were able to remove the charges on their credit cards after requesting a chargeback from their banks. Thankfully, UFC agreed to issue refunds for customers who purchased pay-per-view and are currently beginning to process the claims.
UFC President Dana White released a statement on August 29th addressing the technical issues. “We always try to put on the biggest and most exciting fights. We want our fans to have the best experience when watching our events, ” said White. “Unfortunately, we didn’t deliver the way we wanted on Saturday because of NeuLion’s technical issues on UFC.TV. As usual, we always take care of our fans and will fix this. We have started processing refunds immediately for anyone that could not access the fight after purchase.”
Featured Image via Flickr