But the company still has some kinks to work out, and one of its learning experiences last week came at the expense of some of the last people you’d want to piss off: Ultimate Fighting Championship fans.
Microsoft promoted the new UFC app on Xbox Live by giving out some 30,000 free passes for viewing last week’s UFC 141 broadcast from Las Vegas — featuring the headline matchup of Brock Lesnar (6 foot 3, 265 pounds) vs. Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (6 foot 5, 256 pounds).
“Due to technical issues with the 30,000 freebies Microsoft sent out in a promotion, the UFC on Xbox Live app wouldn’t load for a lot of people; would continuously crash or reset to an earlier point in that night’s event (with no way to fast forward to live broadcasting); would constantly switch between high definition, standard definition, and Vaseline-all-over-your-TV-screen definition (generally preferring the latter); would stutter and pause while trying to buffer; etc. … It was a huge mess and ensured that a lot of Xbox 360 owners won’t be using this system to watch future live events when cable pay-per-view is still a sure thing.”
In a statement to BitMob, the Redmond company said there were technical issues leading up to the fight and acknowledged that there was “a great deal of room for improvement.”
The company says it is working with UFC to make sure that the people who registered for the event will get complimentary access to a future one. For the sake of the fans, and Microsoft, hopefully the next one will go more smoothly.
For what it’s worth, I streamed the Rose Bowl game via Xbox Live’s ESPN app last night, and initially experienced the aforementioned stutter and Vaseline effect, but after logging out and back in, I was able to clearly see Oregon capitalize on Wisconsin’s poor clock management to emerge victorious.