Microsoft fumbles UFC promotion on Xbox Live, promises improvements

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Partially kicking off Microsoft’s jump into becoming a provider of live television, the software company ran into a series of problems on Friday when attempting to broadcast the UFC 141 fight through the Xbox Live service as detailed by Dan Hsu. Designed to allow the purchase of UFC fights in either high or standard definition, the application brings more elements to the viewing experience including watching video of the weigh-in, choosing the winner of each fight and ranking your picks against friends who are also interested in UFC. The user can also check out the stats of each fighter as well as other information pertinent to the match.

xbox-picks-2-120111Hoping to promote the event to hardcore UFC fanatics, Microsoft gave away approximately 30,000 free codes to access the fights. Once the matches started to kick off, technical issues on Microsoft’s end caused the application to stop loading for many users. For the users that did gain access to the app, the video feed was filled with stuttering and had a difficult time buffering to keep up with the demand. Users that invited friends over to watch the fights were forced to purchase the fight on other pay-per-view options or relocate to a local sports bar for access.

Microsoft responded with a statement that apologized to users attempting to access the app and stated “We want to ensure that the 30,000 giveaway recipients for UFC 141 have an optimal experience with UFC on Xbox LIVE, and we are currently working with our partners at the UFC to ensure we deliver just that. The gamertags of the 30,000 users who registered for UFC 141 are being safely kept on file for free access to a future UFC event, and we will have more updates to share in the near future.”

The application has support for the new dashboard and works with the Microsoft Kinect for navigation. Similar to pricing on movies and television shows, there are different price tiers based on the level of video definition. Users can also make purchases with the credit card associated with the Xbox Live account rather than having to purchase Marketplace points first.

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