Cape Town – The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Showmax says it's offering subscribers who signed up to see the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor boxing fight a refund after pay-per-view chaos led to a viewing delay because of encoding issues.
The hyped Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor bout entitled "The Money Fight" was broadcast on SuperSport on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform very early on Sunday, with Showmax that promised it would have it available shortly thereafter by 10:00 on Sunday morning – but that didn't happen.
On social media Showmax said the service will offer people who signed up to watch the boxing fight a refund.
In response to a media enquiry about what happened, Showmax says the "The Money Fight" is now available on the service.
The pay-per-view disaster started in America when Showtime, that produced the boxing event for TV, couldn't cope with the large number of Americans who decided to sign up with the pay-per-view method to stream-watch the boxing clash.
The Las Vegas Journal Review reports that Showtime blamed late buy-ins and internet connectivity issues, which made Showtime delay the match.
For South African viewers it meant a delay from the 05:00 starting time by an hour.
According to Floyd Mayweather "the pay-per-view servers in California and Florida crashed".
Showtime said that "due to high demand, we have reports of scattered outages from various cable and satellite provides and the online offering. We will delay the start of the main event slightly to allow for systems to get on track. We do not expect a lengthy delay."
The Showtime delay in America caused a knock-on effect for Showmax.
"Once we get the fight file, we then encode it into the various qualities needed and upload it to our content management system," Showmax told Channel24 on Sunday.
"We were on the back foot a bit from the more than one hour delay to the start of the fight and the fact that it lasted longer than we'd anticipated."
"We'd run a bunch of tests ahead of time on express coding that had worked fine, but on the day we ran into some challenges and had to fall back on our standard encoding procedure which is quite a bit slower."
"We understand how frustrating this is for customers and ask anyone affected to get in touch with the customer care team. In the meantime we're going to do a full post-mortem to understand exactly what went wrong and to make sure we don't have a repeat in the future," said Showmax.