A technical glitch with the purchasing mechanism on BR/Live led to Turner Sports allowing the The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to stream for free on the site Friday.
Twitter lit up with posts from frustrated viewers who could not make the $19.95 purchase, while others shared the word that the event was being offered for free.
Eventually, the honchos at Turner Sports decided to offer the event free for all on the BR/Live site and app.
“We experienced a technical issue on Bleacher Report Live that impacted user access to ‘The Match,’” Turner spokesman Nate Smeltz said. “We took a number of steps to resolve the matter with our main priority being to deliver the content to those who purchased the event.”
Given the number of sports organizations and media tycoons taking The Match’s pay-per-view streaming temperature, the failure could rank with the great debacles in sports television history. Then again, maybe many weren’t paying and the decision was easy.
Who will be hurt most by losing paid streamers we won’t know since AT&T, Turner and its various affiliated brands were making a grand synergy play here.
Did Tiger and Phil receive a cut of the paid subscriptions?
We also won’t know that unless one of the parties publicly complains. Or sues.
The culprit behind the technology failure is also not known, though SBJ’s Austin Karp noted Turner’s $200 million purchase of iStreamplanet as a possible source to consider.
As for those who did pay, the experience via a cable pay-per-view pass was excellent until non-AT&T-owned outlets ended the stream before the trophy ceremony where Phil Mickelson was unable to get the winner’s belt around his waist.