This Saturday was set to be Invicta FC’s big PPV debut. Shannon Knapp and her crew of scrappy promoters had looked at the streaming numbers and internet interest and determined that the people who were into women’s MMA were into it enough that they’d be willing to spend 8 bucks to watch it. They were probably right. Unfortunately, things went horribly wrong as the biggest headlines to come out of Invicta were about how no one could buy or watch the damn thing.
Some said they spent a half-hour or more trying to get USTREAM to accept their payment so they could watch the event. Others paid for a stream that wouldn’t start or simply wouldn’t stop crashing in the middle of fights. Knapp heard about it all as it was happening – don’t forget, this is the fight promoter who gave her phone number out on Twitter – but neither Knapp nor her staff could get through to anyone at USTREAM to ask them what the problem was.
“There was no one responding,” Knapp told MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com). “And people don’t get upset with USTREAM. They get upset with us because it’s our commitment and our word.”
You’d think partnering with an internet heavyweight would help Invicta rather than hobble them, but the USTREAM stream was an unmitigated disaster on all fronts. Hours after Knapp announced the event would be free, most USTREAM users were still being asked to enter in a purchase code to watch. I never managed to get the thing working at all and gave up on the whole thing around 10PM.
You can’t really measure the damage this does to a company like Invicta. Convincing people to stay home on a Saturday night to watch an internet stream is hard enough without having them second-guess whether the technology will hold up through the night. I’m just some lonely blogger sitting at his desk munching on cheetos, but what of all the people who got together to make a night of it?
At least when you’re pirating a UFC event, the only person you have to blame when shit starts buffering is yourself. But when a promotion’s official stream is on the fritz, it’s hard not to get a little pissed off. Worse, it’s hard to get excited for the next event. Who knows if you’ll actually get to enjoy it, or if you’ll spend the night watching a little spinning buffering icon?