ESPN Plus down for a lot of folks during UFC 257 — and they're pissed

Poirier-McGregor in UFC 257 on ESPN Plus
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There's no good time for a streaming service to go down. But ESPN Plus down during UFC 257 with Poirier and McGregor's rematch? That's especially bad.

But there are loads of reports tonight of problems streaming the first big fight of 2021 — and arguably the biggest in the COVID era.

Social media is alight with posts showing various error messages, from a simple "Sorry, an error occurred" on the website, to purchase errors, to what appear to be references to the "BAMSDK." (ESPN's platform is built by a company it previously purchased called Bamtech.)

And all this just after UFC President Dana White taunted those who would dare to illegally stream UFC fights just makes the ESPN Plus outage that much worse.

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An outage like this is never not a big deal, but it's a little more understandable when you're talking about an outage for a service that costs $5 or $10 a month. But UFC events on ESPN+ are a different animal. ESPN+ is the exclusive home for UFC pay-per-view events. There's no buying through a cable or satellite provider — it's all internet-based, and it all runs through the ESPN app.

And UFC's pay-per-view events cost $69.99 on the low end, and even more if you're signing up for the ESPN+ service for the first time.

This is one of the first major hiccups for ESPN Plus, which has enjoyed several years of significant growth. It reported its first million subscribers in the fall of 2018, hit 6.6 million subs in the first quarter of 2020, and finished the year with more than 10.3 million subscribers.

The growth was boosted in no small part to ESPN+ living under the Disney umbrella, and being a part of the bundle that gets you the sports service along with Disney+ and Hulu for just $12.99 a month. (That price is set to increase by one dollar this spring.)

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Meanwhile, the fights are continuing. Hopefully we'll actually get to watch them.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.