Showtime faces legal action over Mayweather-McGregor streaming as 3m tune in illegally
Showtime, the US entertainment television network, is facing legal action after streaming coverage of last Saturday’s highly-anticipated boxing match between multiple world champion Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor was hampered by technical difficulties.
A class action lawsuit has been filed by attorneys of two customers in Portland, Oregon who complained that the $99 high-definition live-stream feed was unstable and of poor quality for thousands of viewers in the state.
The filing said: “To his extreme disappointment and frustration, plaintiff (and thousands of other consumers) quickly learned that defendant’s system was defective and unable to stream the Mayweather fight in HD as defendant (Showtime) had advertised.
“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 plaintiffs claim that Showtime “rushed its pay-per-view streaming service to market, without securing enough networking bandwidth to support the number of subscribers who paid to watch the fight. … 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.”
In response to the allegations, Chris DeBlasio, senior vice-president sports communications at Showtime, told website MMA Junkie that the network “received a very limited number of complaints” but he said the company would refund customers who purchased the fight through the Showtime app and website stream.
It is estimated that around 3 million people illegally streamed Saturday’s fight, which was won by Mayweather in the 10th round.
According to Irdeto, a digital platform security company, 239 illegal streams were watched by around 2,930,598 people.
About 165 streams were made available through social media site Facebook and video platforms YouTube, Periscope and Twitch.
‘Kodi’, the popular set-top box which provides access to illegal content, has six streams available to access.