USTREAM CEO Brad Hunstable came on the MMA Junkie radio show to personally apologize for fucking up Invicta’s first pay-per-view show on Saturday night:
“First off, let me just say how apologetic and sorry we are for what happened for the fans,” Hunstable today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I’m a big MMA fan. I’ve been in the community for years, and I don’t like it when any of our broadcasters have issues, let alone a sport that I love and am passionate about. I take it especially serious, especially in this case.
“Unfortunately what happened was – and the issue was on Ustream’s end, it was not on Invicta’s end – was that believe it or not, our payment system, which is in sort of a beta program at the moment, got overloaded.”
“There were too many tickets being sold,” Hunstable said. “We’ve done lots of pay-per-views over the last year, from the UFC to the Rugby World Cup to working with World Cup-qualifying soccer matches. The load of tickets being sold, we just hadn’t seen a level of that to date, and that’s ultimately what happened.
“I’ve seen the data myself. It’s pretty clear that this was the most popular pay-per-view that we’ve seen on Ustream.”
That must be frustrating for Invicta head honchess Shannon Knapp, who’s sounding a bit fed up with the whole internet streaming game:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): While the events have been going well and the fan support has been tremendous, this has been the third of four events now where you’ve had streaming issues. You’ve done everything from switching companies, providers, all sorts of things to try to make the stream go off without a hitch. What is going to be the ultimate solution to get your event to stream on the internet without having all the issues?
Shannon Knapp: I’m a bit speechless at this point, which doesn’t happen very often. (laughs) It’s not like I don’t go into these situation and explain to them that we have a lot of traffic and prepare them with all the information that we need to accommodate our product and we just can’t seem to win at that. I think the ultimate solution is to put more pep in my step and pursue a broadcast partner more actively. I think a stable platform, something we can rely on and depend on is the ultimate solution. Aside from that, I don’t know.
Am I the only one who thinks it’s a shame that Invicta may ditch it’s internet platform not because it isn’t popular but because they can’t get the technology to work properly? We’ll probably never get to find out what volume of ordering caused USTREAM’s pay server to bug out, but having so many people try to buy your product that it breaks the server seems like a good problem if you ignore how horrifyingly bad it is at the same time.
Invicta was just on the edge of proving that WMMA fans are passionate and enthusiastic enough to support them via internet pay per view, a feat no other promotion has ever swung. To give up that dream in favor of a television deal that would limit their exposure in comparison and probably keep them on the verge of insolvency seems slightly premature.