Turner Sports executives spent plenty of time coming up with a suggested pay-per-view price for “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Now it looks as though the company won’t see any broadcasting revenue from Friday’s event.
Turner issued a statement Saturday night acknowledging that it would be issuing refunds for those who paid $19.99 to stream the match at Shadow Creek on Bleacher Report Live.
Carriers Comcast, Charter Spectrum, Cox Communications, Dish/Sling TV and AT&T — via its DirecTV and U-Verse platforms — also announced it would not charge customers who paid for the event, either through credits or refunds. Other carriers, including Cablevision and Verizon, have not made decisions.
“The Match was an historic event, from Tiger’s opening tee shot to Phil’s final putt,” Turner said in a statement. “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 prematch technical issue did occur, and we will offer fans who purchased the event on B/R Live a refund.”
Many fans who went to the Bleacher Report Live webpage minutes before the event saw a landing page that didn’t give them the opportunity to purchase the event. That the broadcast was streaming at no cost baffled some, unsure how it could happen after the pay-per-view price had been so widely publicized.
There were over 500 people on hold online waiting for assistance during one point, according to The Associated Press.
Mickelson won $9 million with a birdie on the 22nd hole.