Invicta looking for answers after USTREAM failure

Sunday, January 06, 2013

InvictaFights ‏@InvictaFights
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Frustrated. That’s the word Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp used at least a half-dozen times when I spoke to her on Sunday morning about what had gone wrong with the pay-per-view live stream of Invicta FC 4 on Saturday night.

Some said they spent a half-hour or more trying to get USTREAM to accept their payment so they could watch the event. Others paid for a stream that wouldn’t start or simply wouldn’t stop crashing in the middle of fights. Knapp heard about it all as it was happening, but neither Knapp nor her staff could get through to anyone at USTREAM to ask them what the problem was.

“There was no one responding,” Knapp told “And people don’t get upset with USTREAM. They get upset with us because it’s our commitment and our word.”

On Invicta’s end, Knapp said, the set-up was the same as it had been for the previous three events. Same on-site streaming company, same production people. Everything was in place for Invicta’s first voyage into pay-per-view territory. Everything except the ability to reliably accept payment and deliver the product in return.

“When people can’t pay, that’s a problem,” Knapp said. “And people wanted to pay. That’s an even bigger problem.”

Give Knapp credit, though. When she saw that the paid streaming option wasn’t working, she instructed USTREAM to take down the pay wall and promised refunds to those who had already paid. She essentially gave up on the pay-per-view option – the one that was supposed to give Invicta the data it needed to prove something to potential TV partners – midway through the event. Instead of holding out hope that USTREAM would get it figured out in time, Knapp decided to give it away for free and abort the whole pay-per-view mission after it had only just begun.

That was the right call, but probably not an easy one to make.

Invicta made the best of a bad situation on Saturday night, but now what? Knapp still isn’t sure, she said. The next event is targeted for April, and, Knapp said, “if we don’t have a [TV] partner by then, we’ll be streaming in some capacity, whether we’re giving it away or not.”

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