Metro-East News

Charter Cable giving credits to customers after pay-per-view fight outage

Manny Pacquiao, right, from the Philippines, trades blows with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their welterweight title fight on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Manny Pacquiao, right, from the Philippines, trades blows with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during their welterweight title fight on Saturday in Las Vegas. AP

Charter Communications is providing credits for customers who lost their cable service Saturday night after paying for the pay-per-view boxing match between unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. and record eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.

Charter Cable television customers across the metro-east region fumed when they lost service Saturday night, just as a premier boxing match was set to air.

The outage was knocking out service just as viewers were tuning in for NBA basketball playoffs and a pay-per-view boxing match.

Viewers across the region — from Edwardsville to Carlyle to O’Fallon and Belleville — were reporting loss of service.

In a statement released Monday by Charter, the cable company is “analyzing the events of (Saturday) evening and we apologize to our customers who were affected. We are giving those customers who had purchased the fight credits when they call us.”

The cable provider would not specify if credits meant refunds for customers.

Charter customers unleashed fury on social media.

One wrote on Facebook: “I ordered the fight, had a house full of people over, and they had to leave to watch it at someone else's house. I will not be paying for this fight.”

Another customer wrote: “Unacceptable. At least my Internet service is up so I can start looking at rates from other providers.”

The website downdetector.com, which tracks television service outages, was showing Charter Cable outages across the St. Louis region, as well as outages in the Carolinas.

The outage began about 8:30 p.m., and service was still out at 10:30 p.m. — which is when the boxing match was scheduled to start.

Service resumed in most areas about 11:15 p.m., well after the boxing match was underway.

The fee for residential customers to watch the fight was about $100.

Bars and other establishments were required to pay more. For example, an employee of Edison’s Entertainment Complex in Edwardsville said the owner had to pay “several thousand dollars” for the fight.

Other service providers, including Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network, also were reporting some outages Saturday night.

The fight’s promoters, aware of the outages, apparently tried to stall the start of the event.

The sellout crowd was ready for the main event a half-decade in the making, and Pacquiao’s crew was in the ring, wearing formal white shirts and waving a big Filipino flag.

However, because many customers trying to order the pay-per-view telecast were having problems, organizers said they were going to slow things down before bringing Pacquiao and Mayweather to the ring.

Announcer Jim Lampley said demand for the fight was so high, cable and satellite operators needed more time to keep up to fill orders. Lampley referred to the problems as “electronic overload which is plaguing cable systems across the country.”

Calls to the Charter customer service line, (888) 438-2427, were met with a busy signal.

Customer service Twitter accounts for Dish Network and Cox Communications asked users whether they ordered standard definition or high definition feeds of the fight, indicating there may be issues with the standard definition feed. A similar account for DirecTV referred users toward a troubleshooting website.

The bout was expected to be the most popular in pay-per-view history, with an estimated 3 million households buying the fight.

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