“There is a great deal of room for improvement,” stated Microsoft, to which UFC fans hoping to watch the fight on their 360 replied, “NO KIDDING! Ya think?”
Sports are a big deal to the console makers: Most people stick with cable solely because of sports, so landing a sports exclusive means more sales of consoles and more money coming in. So to say that this past weekend’s UFC streaming — to which Microsoft game away 30,000 coupons so people could watch for free — was a disaster is kind of understating the case.
The problem? Plain old server load. There were so many people, both subscribers and people catching a freebie, that the servers crashed. Which sounds almost quaint in this modern era, considering there’s billions of dollars and lots of research to make sure exactly that never happens.
Microsoft tried to explain the gaffe in a press release…
The broadcast of UFC 141 through the UFC for Xbox LIVE application was hampered by technical issues appearing in the hours leading up to the fight. Despite restoring service to some users during the course of UFC 141, there is a great deal of room for improvement. All 30,00 users who registered to view UFC 141 for free will be provided access to a future fight at no cost.
We want to ensure that the 30,000 giveaway recipients for UFC 141 have an optimal experience with UFC on Xbox LIVE, and we are currently working with our partners at the UFC to ensure we deliver just that. The gamertags of the 30,000 users who registered for UFC 141 are being safely kept on file for free access to a future UFC event, and we will have more updates to share in the near future.
Everybody gets a free fight out of the deal, but in the future, Microsoft…it’s called load balance.