Friday’s much publicized golf showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson has turned into a bit of a disaster for Turner Sports. Hyped as “The Match,” the event saw Mickelson prevail in extra holes as tech glitches got in the way of Turner’s opportunity to make money on the high-profile event.
Due to a tech issue with the paywall, Turner ended up streaming the match coverage for free.
“Now it looks as though the company won’t see any broadcasting revenue from Friday’s event,” ESPN reports. “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 including Comcast, Charter Spectrum, Cox Communications, Dish/Sling TV and AT&T — via its DirecTV and U-Verse platforms — also announced they won’t be charging customers who paid for the event, ESPN reports, noting that the companies plan to offer either refunds or credits.
Cablevision and Verizon had not announced plans at the time of the ESPN report.
“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.”
The event has also taken criticism from a competitive standpoint, even though it went into extra holes.
“It took 22 holes, but Phil Mickelson finally prevailed in his $9 million showdown with Tiger Woods, telling him afterward, ‘I will not ever let you live this one down,'” ESPN reports, adding: “The Match needed Tiger and Phil to be Tiger and Phil. Instead, we got 22 holes of so-so golf from the sport’s two biggest names.”