Unprecedented demand caused the delays and outages experienced by countless fans who tried to order Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s boxing match Saturday night on pay-per-view, an HBO executive said Sunday. Customers across nearly every major American city and cable provider experienced issues that led HBO and Showtime to delay their joint broadcast by approximately 45 minutes.
"We were able to take a deep breath, slow things down and allow fans' orders to be processed in an orderly manner so that people could enjoy the fight they waited for for five years,” HBO pay-per-view executive Mark Taffet told the New York Daily News. “It was simply an unprecedented number of fans buying more amounts than we've ever seen in PPV history. So we had to slow down the telecast in order for orders to be processed."
Would-be buyers experienced technical issues in Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas and several other cities. DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Dish Network each engaged on Twitter with users who took to social media to report problems. An initial Associated Press report suggested the glitches were related to the fight’s standard definition broadcast.
HBO fight announcer Jim Lampley later said the pay-per-view issues were the result of “electronic overload.” In-ring announcer Michael Buffer was instructed not to proceed with the show until the pay-per-view providers could catch up with order demand.
"The consumer demand for this fight far exceeded not only anything we've seen but frankly anything we expected," Taffet told the New York Daily News.
Boxing’s previous record for most pay-per-view buys was 2.48 million, set in 2007 when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya. Prefight estimates said the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would surpass 3 million buys, ESPN reported. Exact figures on pay-per-view demand won’t be available until next week. The bout was expected to produce more than $400 million in revenue, also a boxing record.
Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in a unanimous decision to remain undefeated. The 48-0 boxer said he plans to retire after his contractually obligated final bout in September.