Tiger-Phil streaming glitch forces Turner, TV providers to issue refunds

Tiger Woods during “The Match” against Phil Mickelson. (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods during “The Match” against Phil Mickelson. (Getty Images)

For some golf fans, Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson lived up to its manufactured, dollar-driven hype.

For most rational humans who enjoy proper sport, it was an utter sham.

For Bleacher Report, Turner Sports and Comcast, who all tried to sell it for an absurd price, “The Match” appears to have been an unmitigated disaster.

Technical issues mar “The Match”

Technical difficulties forced Turner executives to ditch their $19.99 price tag and make the event available for free.

“We experienced some technical issues on B/R Live that temporarily impacted user access to ‘The Match,'” Turner said in a statement. “We took a number of steps to resolve the matter, with our main priority being the delivery of content to those that purchased the PPV event.”

That left Comcast, and other cable and satellite providers who had sold Tiger-vs.-Phil to customers for the same amount, in a pickle: How could they force viewers to pay if they ultimately could have saved 20 bucks and still watched online?

Comcast offers refunds, urges B/R Live to do same

Comcast addressed the issue hours after the conclusion of the “competition” with a statement:

“Comcast will proactively issue a $19.99 credit to any Xfinity TV customer who purchased ‘The Match’ pay-per-view event. We hope Turner and Bleacher Report will do the same given that the event was made available by them for free on The Bleacher Report website.”

Turner released a statement to Yahoo Sports on Saturday afternoon announcing that it will offer refunds to those fans who purchased the match on B/R Live.

“The Match was a historic event, from Tiger’s opening tee shot to Phil’s final putt,” Turner said in a statement to Yahoo Sports. “Prior to the start of the event, we experienced a technical issue with the B/R Live paywall page that we tried to quickly resolve. We decided to take down the paywall to ensure that fans who already purchased the event would not miss any action. This did not impact the live streaming of the competition and fans were treated to an event that was both engaging and memorable.

“Unfortunately, the pre-match technical issue did occur, and we will offer fans who purchased the event on B/R Live a refund.”

Among TV providers, Cox Communications also told USA Today it would offer refunds.

Neither DirecTV nor AT&T, who also carried the event, has issued a statement regarding refunds.

Was Tiger-Phil worth the money?

We’ll cede the floor to Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel to answer that question:

There were times this got so dull you looked forward to the next Capital One advertisement to break the monotony. Yes, a commercial in the middle of a Pay Per View.

For years this was called the Skins Game. Now it was like an MBA thesis gone bad. It was riveting only to fans of product placements.

Not surprisingly, these two played with all the intensity of two guys who literally don’t need $9 million. It was just a couple of old rich guys hacking around a beautiful course blowing money they don’t need.

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