Mayweather-Pacquiao demand sends PPV into tailspin

Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Manny Pacquiao throws a right at Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The biggest boxing match in years may have broken the Internet. Sort of.

Millions tuned in to watch Floyd Mayweather Jr. take on Manny Pacquiao in what was billed as the fight of the century. Yet cable customers hoping to watch the brash, flamboyant Mayweather win a unanimous decision bout against the pious Pacquiao via Pay Per View (PPV) reported widespread technical difficulties ordering the fight.

Mayweather ultimately prevailed against Pacquiao in a competition that many viewers felt fell decidedly short of its hype. But the PPV demand troubles continued for hours, and prevented some from viewing the match at all.

According to posts flying faster and more furious than the punches thrown at the widely criticized match, affected customers directed their ire at Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Verizon and Comcast. The latter is the parent company of NBC Universal and CNBC.

"We heard initial reports of some systems freezing," Showtime told CNBC in a statement. "We asked consumers for patience with the operators as they deal with overwhelming amount of orders."

According to the affected companies, heavy subscriber demand for the fight became difficult to fulfill. That may be little consolation to those who paid up to $100 for the privilege of watching the two pugilists battle for bragging rights after a five year build up.

Projected revenue for the fight is expected to net at least $300 million, according to data from Showtime and HBO Boxing.

In order to compensate for the delays, and provide cover for cable companies to get the broadcast back on track, HBO and Showtime slowed down the pace of the fight by interviewing A-list stars in the audience, and interspersing them with footage of the boxers' training.

Incidentally, Mayweather set a previous PPV watching record when he faced off against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, of 2.48 million.