By Jonathan Solomon
Invicta Fighting Championship attempted their first pay-per-view over the internet last weekend hoping to spread their word-of-mouth buzz into a new revenue stream.
Despite producing a card that was critically well received, controversy marred the night because of live streaming problems.
Invicta FC 4, which emanated live from Kansas City, Kansas last Saturday was the first time the promotion tried to sell their live product through Ustream. The previous three shows had all been available free of charge via the Invicta website.
However, according to Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable, an MMA fan, he told MMAJunkie.com unforeseen problems arose because their beta payment system had been “overloaded.” As a result, customers willing to pay for the feed were not able to and those who did discovered the live stream to be of bad quality and unreliable.
After being unable to get in touch with a Ustream representative, Invicta FC CEO Shannon Knapp told the company to refund the money of anyone who paid for the show and then to take down the pay wall, making the show free and available to all.
Hunstable said about 70,000 users were on the live stream after the pay wall was removed and despite not offering concrete numbers, said the Invicta FC 4 was the site’s most popular PPV to date. In the main event, Carla Esparza became the inaugural strawweight champion by defeating Bec Hyatt in a five-round decision.
Knapp has not commented publicly about the broadcast plans for Invicta FC 5, an event expected for April. Already announced for the next show include the first ever flyweight title fight between Barb Honchak and Vanessa Porto, plus an atomweight championship bout featuring champion Jesse Penne.
Ustream believes they have learned from the errors over the weekend and insist they will not be repeated in the future.
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