ESPN+ outage wreaks havoc with UFC 257 pay-per-view

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 23: A general view of the Octagon prior to the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
UFC 257 wasn’t (legally) accessible for many MMA fans. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC 257 main card, headlined by Conor McGregor and Dusin Poirier, kicked off on ESPN+ with Marina Rodriguez’s stunning TKO of Amanda Ribas.

Unfortunately, not every fan who shelled out for the $70 pay-per-view was able to see it.

It’s unclear how widespread the outage was, but a noticeable number of MMA fans were complaining on Saturday that ESPN+ was not working for them. That included many of the UFC’s own fighters, as well as an MLB Cy Young Award winner:

Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole was told that the outage occurred as 1.3 million viewers attempted to tune in at the same time. The outage appeared to affect ESPN+ across the board, not just the UFC 257 pay-per-view, and was not limited to just one app or device.

The situation occurs after UFC president Dana White complained of illegal streams of UFC events and threatened streamers with consequences from federal authorities if they streamed Saturday’s event.

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