ESPN Plus apologizes for “technical issue” during UFC pay-per-view event


ESPN Plus says it will issue partial refunds to customers who paid for a UFC pay-per-view event Saturday only to run into technical problems.

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier was the headline match of the UFC 257 main card, which was set to get underway at about 10PM ET Saturday. To watch, ESPN Plus subscribers, who pay $59.99 per year for the streaming service, also paid $69.99 for Saturday’s event. But users in the US began reporting a blackout on the ESPN Plus app Saturday evening that lasted through some of the earlier fights on the main card.

A spokesperson for Disney, which owns ESPN, said in an email to The Verge on Sunday that the company was “aware that a technical issue prevented a portion of users from accessing the early part of the ESPN+ pay-per-view event, and we apologize for that experience. We worked as quickly as possible to identify and resolve the issue.”

The spokesperson didn’t say what the specific issue was, but it affected some users in the western US and was resolved by 11PM ET, according to the company, in time to see the signature fights. Users were affected between a few minutes to more than an hour.

The company says it will provide partial refunds to users affected by the outage. Customers who paid for the fight through a third-party platform like Apple, Roku, Google, or Amazon, will need to seek refunds from the platform, but Disney/ESPN says it will work with those companies on the refund process.

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