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Xbox Live bloodied by flawed airing of UFC bout

Xbox Live's much-hyped live broadcast of a mixed-martial-arts fight sputtered for many viewers, leading the company to offer them access to a future UFC event for free.

An Xbox Live promotion for the UFC 141 event. Microsoft

Xbox Live had a hard time handling the Octagon.

Last month, Microsoft updated its Xbox Live service, giving it a face-lift and adding a heavy dose of live programming to the mix. To promote the updates, the company gave away 30,000 coupon codes to watch Ultimate Fighting Championship's UFC 141 match, featuring the comeback of mixed-martial-arts star Brock Lesnar.

But like Lesnar, who lasted 146 seconds, Microsoft was bloodied by the match. According to Bitmob, the Xbox Live app for the UFC wouldn't load for some. For others, it routinely crashed or reset to an earlier point in the event, with no way to fast-forward.

Bitmob also noted that, for some who were able to catch the fight on Xbox Live, the picture frequently switched between high definition, standard definition, and what it referred to as "Vaseline-all-over-your-TV-screen definition."

Microsoft acknowledged the problems, though it offered few details about what caused them. In a statement, the company said the Xbox Live application was "hampered by technical issues appearing in the hours leading up to the fight."

"Despite restoring service to some users during the course of UFC 141, there is a great deal of room for improvement," the company said.

Microsoft plans to give all 30,000 customers who registered to view the event for free access to a future fight at no cost.