What was billed as one of the biggest pay-per-view boxing events in decades turned out to be a major collective technical failing for the pay-TV industry.
Many St. Louis-area customers saw this message instead of the fight. (Source: KSDK-TV)
Saturday evening's highly anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao may have been a bust for many fight fans. And it's unclear as to whether sign-ups broke the record of 2.48 million set during a previous Mayweather bout in 2007.
But complaints by subscribers of technical difficulties were legion, covering virtually every region of the U.S. and every pay-TV operator, with DirecTV customers in Los Angeles, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) subscribers in Seattle and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) subs in St. Louis among thousands who paid $100 to see the match but didn't get it on their televisions due to delivery glitches.
DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) customers in L.A. seeking technical assistance, for example, were put on hold for as long as an hour, with the satellite company tweeting out a webpage link that gave instructions on troubleshooting options. (FierceCable attended a party in which DirecTV service wasn't available in the living room of the residence but was okay in a reserve bedroom that about 40 guests crammed into.)
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, meanwhile, reported that thousands of local Comcast subscribers were without service for three hours Saturday night.
Charter promised refunds to customers in St. Louis, the Carolinas and Virginia after technical difficulties on some of its systems rendered the fight unwatchable. There were also tweets from English-speaking Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) users, complaining the fight was being delivered to them in Spanish.
Callers into TWC tech support reportedly received an "all circuits are busy" message.
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