Invicta FC’s fourth event went off without a hitch inside the cage on Saturday night, but outside of the cage it was a whole different story.
For the first time the all-female promotion had chosen to air their event live on pay-per-view for $7.95 on Ustream, but disaster struck on fight night when fans found themselves unable to pay, while the stream was crashing for others, which prompted Invicta president Shannon Knapp to take down the PPV barrier and just allow everyone to watch the action for free.
Needless to say this was a distaster from Invicta FC’s point of view and it’s prompted Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable to offer a public apology during a radio interview on MMAJunkie.
What’s so intriguing about this is that as well as holding up his hands and admitting this was entirely Ustream’s fault he also goes on to claim that the reason it occurred was due to an unprecedented level of viewers trying to purchase the event.
“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. 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’s very interesting news as many people have doubted Invicta’s claims in the past regarding the level of demand for their previous events which aired for free, with Knapp having claimed for example that over 300,000 tuned in to watch Invicta FC 2 last year.
Of course some doubts still remain, with it being suggested that perhaps Hunstable was doing Invicta a favor with these claims as a way of apologizing for their mishandling of the event.
Whatever the case it appears that Knapp is now looking to a different medium to deliver the promotion’s future events.
“I think the ultimate solution is to put more pep in my step and pursue a [television] broadcast partner more actively,” Knapp tells MMAMania.