- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Showtime customers unsatisfied with the video stream quality of this weekend’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are suing the network in federal court for unlawful trade practices and breach of contract.

At least two lawsuits were filed against Showtime within 48 hours of Mr. Mayweather’s victory this weekend on behalf of customers who spent practically $100 apiece on official but unreliable pay-per-view streams of Saturday’s fight.

In Portland, Oregon, attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Saturday evening on behalf of a customer named Zack Bartel who said he spent $99.99 on the stream in order to “witness history.”

“Instead of being a ‘witness to history’ as defendant had promised, the only thing plaintiff witnessed was grainy video, error screens, buffer events and stalls,” his attorneys argued in their lawsuit alleging unlawful trade practices and unjust enrichment.

In New York City, meanwhile, lawyers for a Queens man who bought the stream, Victor Mallh, filed a suit of their own Monday in Manhattan federal court.

“As a result of server failure or other technical failures on [Showtime’s] part,” Mr. Mallh and other customers “were unable to view substantial portions of the event,” his attorneys argued in Monday’s breach-of-contract complaint.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in both cases are seeking jury trials and class-action certification, potentially opening up their litigation to other similarly situated Showtime customers irked by the quality of Saturday’s pay-per-view stream.

Showtime declined to comment on specific litigation Monday but said it would offer a full refund to customers who purchased the stream through its pay-per-view website and mobile app.

“We received a very limited number of complaints,” Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio said in a statement. “We’re reviewing all of them carefully, and we will respond accordingly.”

“Refunds are handled at the point of sale, so with regard to Showtime’s direct to consumer, our online offering of ShowtimePPV.com and Showtime PPV app, for those that could not see the fight on those platforms, Showtime will issue a full refund. Of course, the goal is to deliver at the highest quality all of the content,” he said.

Preliminary projections expected the Mayweather-McGregor fight to generate upwards of $1 billion in gross pay-per-view revenue, Variety reported.

Mr. Mayweather won Saturday’s fight by technical knockout in the tenth round.

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