Initially, Turner’s attempt at a pay-per-view livestream of Friday’s highly anticipated match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson barely made it off the tee due to technical glitches with the paywall page, prompting Bleacher Report Live to make the stream available for free.
This resulted in major distributors promising refunds for customers that had paid to watch the event.
Turner’s Bleacher Report Live broadcast the livestream, which aired successfully once the paywall was taken down before the pair teed off. Prior to that consumers ran into errors, including authentication problems, app issues, and reports of users unable to access the feed even after paying the $19.95 fee.
“‘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 pre-match technical issue did occur, and we will offer fans who purchased the event on B/R Live a refund.””
Turner, which is part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia group, said those who purchased the event on Bleacher Report Live would be refunded. Similarly, major distributors including Comcast, Dish and Sling TV, AT&T, Cox Communications, and Charter Spectrum, confirmed to news outlets that they would provide refunds.
Turner heavily promoted the golf match in the months leading up to the event, which was billed as the first ever live PPV golf event. It is unclear how many consumers will be receiving refunds for paying to view the match. Mickelson defeated Woods with a birdie on the 22nd hole, scoring the $9 million prize.