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ESPN apologizes for technical issues that plagued UFC 257 pay-per-view

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UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC 257 may go down as one of the biggest pay-per-views in the history of the sport but not everything was as flawless as Dustin Poirier’s second-round knockout against Conor McGregor to cap off the event.

At the start of the broadcast, there were issues with some potential viewers being unable to actually purchase the card through ESPN+. Additional users reported problems actually accessing the pay-per-view broadcast after already paying for the event.

On Monday, ESPN issued a statement to MMA Fighting regarding the technical issues that caused problems for some viewers during the UFC 257 broadcast.

“We’re aware that a technical issue prevented a portion of users from accessing part of the ESPN+ pay-per-view event, and we apologize for that experience,” ESPN officials said. “We worked as quickly as possible to identify and resolve the issue.”

According to ESPN, the issues surrounding UFC 257 only affected a portion of the audience in the Western part of the United States, but it did not impact everybody watching the event on that side of the country.

While the technical glitches persisted anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour into the event, ESPN was eventually able to fix the problems with the issue finally being resolved by 11 p.m. ET.

Add to that, ESPN will be issuing partial refunds for the event for those who were impacted by the issues that prevented viewers from watching the entire pay-per-view broadcast.

The Disney-owned network promised to rectify whatever issues stopped viewers from either purchasing or watching the event to ensure this same problem doesn’t plague them in the future.

ESPN+ has been the home to all UFC pay-per-views since April 2019 when the promotion inked a multi-year with the company. ESPN already houses all of the UFC broadcast rights after striking a separate deal in 2018 following the conclusion of the promotion’s rights previously belonging to FOX.

UFC president Dana White stated after the event ended that UFC 257 will likely end up as one of the top two pay-per-view broadcasts in history for the company, which means the card sold well over 1 million buys. The current top pay-per-view in UFC history is UFC 229 from 2018 where Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor in the main event with that card reportedly selling around 2.4 million buys.