A Fighting Chance for Live and Over-the-Top

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight shattered all previous records for a pay-per-view event, according to the official tally from HBO and Showtime, racking up 4.4 million buys in the U.S. worth more than $400 million.

As we now know, it was too much of a good thing.

A last-minute crush of orders KO’d many pay-TV operators’ ability to process them, forcing promoters to delay the start of the fight to give operators time to catch up, but even with that several operators were forced to offer refunds to thousands of subscribers who were never able to access the PPV stream.

MayPac fightHBO and Showtime, which jointly produced the broadcast, actually saw the problem coming in the days leading up to the fight and tried to warn operators. Advanced orders were running well ahead of any previous event, but if MayPac held true to form, the vast majority of orders — as much as 90 percent of the total — would still come in the final hours. Given the baseline, the networks feared — correctly as it turned out — that a huge wave was building. Read More »