Angry punter sues over Mayweather-McGregor streaming glitches

29 Aug 2017

Image: Juergen Faelchle/Shutterstock

Pay-per-view streaming via broadband contested as punter goes toe to toe with service provider.

US network Showtime is being sued by an angry fan representing “thousands of other consumers” because the experience allegedly failed to deliver.

Oregon resident Zack Bartel filed the lawsuit after he paid $99 to stream the boxing match – which promised 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second – on his Apple TV.

Unfortunately for Bartel, the fight – which saw McGregor lose to Mayweather after 10 rounds on a technical knockout – was delayed by at least 30 minutes due to “overwhelming traffic”.

“Instead of being a ‘witness to history’ as defendant had promised, the only thing plaintiff witnessed was grainy video, error screens, buffer events and stalls,” the lawsuit filed in a federal court read.

The first round for pay-per-view streaming

The plaintiff said that he was not alone and that he saw hundreds of complaints being tweeted by other customers in real time during the fight, experiencing the same issues.

The fight was historic from a digital media point of view because, unlike past events – such as Mayweather v Pacquiao in 2015 – the Mayweather-McGregor battle was the first major fight available on pay-per-view without a cable subscription and over broadband.

The Bartel suit alleges that Showtime rushed its pay-per-view streaming service to market without securing enough network bandwidth to support the number of subscribers who paid to watch the fight.

As well as making Mayweather and McGregor even richer than they already are, the fight is believed to have generated up to $1bn in pay-per-view revenue.

“We have received a very limited number of complaints and will issue a full refund for any customer who purchased the event directly from Showtime and were unable to receive the telecast,” said Showtime’s sports communications director, Chris DeBlasio, in a statement.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years