UFC 257 is already off and running, but ESPN's broadcast is having major technical difficulties. Fans aren't happy with the major sports network.
ESPN+ had an outage Saturday evening right at the start of the UFC 257 card. To make matters worse, the card was a pay-per-view event on the exclusive ESPN streaming channel.
It's unclear how many viewers the outage impacted. Either way, it's not a good look for the "Worldwide Leader in Sports."
As of 11 p.m. ET on Saturday night, there were 20,000 tweets (and counting) talking about the ESPN+ outage. Even Texans star defensive end JJ Watt is having issues with the stream.
JJ Watt and Pat McAfee aren't alone. Saturday night's card costed $70, but so many viewers are unable to access the fight via ESPN+.
This is disastrous.
ESPN has a massive problem on its hands. Refunds will have to be issued, even after the stream eventually gets fixed. ESPN and the UFC have raised prices for pay-per-view events these past few years. A $70 price-tag is steep, but one fans are willing to pay as the sport has grown in popularity (especially over the past year). Saturday night's UFC 257 features one of the sport's most high-profile fighters in Conor McGregor. He'll take on Dustin Poirier in what's expected to be a competitive bout. If ESPN can't fix the issue by then, the network won't only hear from UFC fans. UFC president Dana White will come calling Sunday morning. Update: ESPN is aware of the issues, it said in a
Regarding the ESPN+ issues tonight for UFC 257. I emailed ESPN PR. Here is what I just got back.
"We are aware of an issue impacting some fans’ ability to access to tonight’s PPV event and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible."
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 24, 2021
">statement to Richard Deitsch.
Hopefully they get this resolved soon.