After complaints of grainy video, errors and buffering streams, fans who purchased the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight this past Saturday night via the Showtime app have banded together in a class action lawsuit.
Portland boxing fan Zack Bartel paid to stream the fight in high-definition through the Showtime app, but says all he saw was “grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls.”
Bartel is suing Showtime for unlawful trade practices and unjust enrichment, alleging the network rushed its pay-per-view streaming service to the market without securing the bandwidth necessary to support the scores of cable-cutting fans.
Attorney Michael Fuller in his complaint in Oregon federal court wrote that…
“Instead of being upfront with consumers about its new, untested, underpowered service, defendant caused likelihood of confusion and misunderstanding as to the source and quality of the HD video consumers would see on fight night… Defendant intentionally misrepresented the quality and grade of video consumers would see using its app, and knowingly failed to disclose that its system was defective with respect to the amount of bandwidth available, and that defendant’s service would materially fail to conform to the quality of HD video defendant promised.”
The complaint, which is largely composed of screenshots and tweets, is seeking for each member of the class actual damages or $200 in statutory damages, whichever is greater.
The proposed class includes Oregon consumers who viewed Showtime’s app advertisement on iTunes and paid $99.99 to stream the fight, but were unable to view the fight live on the app “in HD at 1080p resolution and at 60 frames per second, and who experienced ongoing grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls instead.”
Showtime has not yet responded to a request for comment on the complaint, which is posted below.
Pay-Per-View live events sent The Hollywood Reporter on Monday an email that directs dissatisfied customers to contact their service provider for a refund.
“Unfortunately, we are receiving a huge number of complaints from a large number of customers who are not using our services but a different provider (UFC),” says the message. “We can only express that we understand your pain for not being able to see the special event but again we are not the company that provided the stream or actual event. You will need to contact the actual provider such as Xfinity, Showtime, HBO, UFC.tv etc to request your refund.”
The plaintiffs are also represented by powerhouse firm Geragos & Geragos.