Over the weekend, one of the biggest sporting events in the world took place, and I'm not talking about the NFL preseason game between the L.A. Chargers and the L.A. Rams. The pay-per-view boxing bout between undefeated champ Floyd Mayweather and UFC champ Conor McGregor raked in a truckload of money for all involved, but it also raked in a ton of complaints about delays and outages due to so many people attempting to watch the fight at once. As such, Showtime Networks announced that it will give full refunds to customers verified to have been unable to watch.
This was apparently a case where over-saturation and ill-equipped tech worked against everyone, and some Showtime users faced delays that pushed the telecast's start time back ten minutes or more. It was apparently worse for some customers than others, and it's those most unfortunate fans that Showtime will look at case by case to see if the full $99.99 refund will be deemed necessary. For what it's worth, according to Variety, Showtime's senior VP of Communications Chris DeBlasio claimed there were a "very limited number of complaints overall," so perhaps the network won't need to deal with too many full refunds.
It's not a "catch," exactly, but it should be known that the $99.99 refunds will apparently only be considered by Showtime Networks if viewers went through the specific direct-to-customer services. That means not-so-great news for anyone who purchased the fight through UFC Fight Pass and was eventually directed to Showtime's website following the Fight Pass site outage. Showtime made it clear that for cases like that, along with anyone who first purchased the fight through any other cable or satellite providers, refund requests must me made specifically with those companies.
Some have gone public with claims that UFC denied them refunds, and the company has yet to make any official stance on the matter at the time of this writing. Meanwhile, one pissed-off customer filed a lawsuit in Portland, Oregon against Showtime, aiming to make it a class-action suit to include others who also felt they got far less than their money's worth with the fight.
Those who did get to watch Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor go gloves-to-gloves got to see a fight that, in some ways, stood up to what fans were actually hoping for, in that it actually lasted 10 rounds and wasn't just an hour of dancing. Though McGregor eventually lost by TKO in Round 10, and looked particularly bereft of energy when it was finished, he actually fared better than many of Mayweather's recent opponents on the stat sheets, including Manny Pacquiao.
While the fight itself may not have been one for the ages, the mass amount of attention devoted to the crossover match was definitely notable. The fight was even shown in movie theaters for those unwilling to drop the dough for the home-viewing; as well as for those theaters to get a piece of the profits themselves. And much focus has been placed on how much money the athletes themselves made, with Floyd Mayweather reportedly earning $100 million, with Conor McGregor pocketing something around $30 million.
We're not going to get another fight like Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor any time soon -- especially since the undefeated boxer announced he was hanging up his gloves -- but there will always been more boxing and UFC events to dive into in the future, complete with incessant shit-talking and grandstanding. But if you're into clashes that are either scripted or are on the reality TV side, head to our fall TV schedule to see what's on the way.