Fans were left outraged when a delay was announced for the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor because of pay-per-view outages in the United States.
News broke in the early hours of Sunday morning [Saturday evening in the US] that fans watching on the UFC’s Fight Pass were experiencing issues with watching the event live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
A number of users reported their issues on social media, and with the fight due to start around 5am BST [9pm PT] there were genuine fears that they could miss the biggest sporting event of the year, having shelled out $100 to buy the fight.
The UFC.TV server appeared to crash due to the popular demand, with users unable to load the site and being shown a 504 gateway timeout error instead.
Showtime soon confirmed the news, although they played down the length of the delay and hoped to proceed with the main event as soon as possible.
The statement read: “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.”
Mixed martial arts reporter Ariel Helwani posted on Twitter that an unnamed source has informed him about a potential delay, while ESPN also confirmed a delay to the main event.
However, broadcasters would not comment on the timings of the bout, with the undercard still unfolding at the time of the controversy with Gervonta Davis taking on Francisco Fonseca as the co-main event.
UFC president Dana White, who is in Vegas to watch the fight and close friend McGregor, had boasted in the week that the UFC Fight Pass would be able to stand up to the demand of the pay-per-view because the UFC “does digital better than boxing”, but Helwani’s comments did little to reinforce that claim.
“Being told of lots of PPV ordering issues,” Helwani wrote. “UFC app, cable providers. Potential disaster for the promoters.”
With the Davis vs Fonseca bout due to end around 5am BST [9pm PT], the main event between Mayweather and McGregor may not start until at least 5.30am.
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