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Gremlins hit ITV Box Office ...again

UPDATE | A year after launching, ITV Box Office is still suffering from gremlins, causing viewers to miss out on coverage of Eubank Jr v Groves.

With hours until the live fight, the pay-per-view boxing channel's website crashed. Latecomers faced lengthy delays in getting the channel activated on Sky, and streaming provider TVPlayer suffered from high volumes of demand, crippling online access to the service.

The troubles began late afternoon when viewers found they could not access the ITV Box Office website, or contact ITV to gain access to the event. Those that did manage to get through found their viewing card wouldn't clear the channel, which is on Sky channel 493, or only did so long after the night's coverage had already started.

Once the main event started, which saw Eubank Jr losing, some viewers reporting losing access to the service mid-way through, which was also being streamed on the PS4 Live Event platform and via Virgib Media.

ITV had advised users to sign up anytime during the week running up to the bout. Viewers who had previously purchased an ITV Box Office event to watch on their Sky viewing card were told they could purchase access via their remote control. But others were required to sign-up via the ITV Box Office website. TVPlayer, PS4 and Virgin Media had their own sign-in systems.

Not the first time
In February 2017, when the service first launched, hundreds of ITV Box Office subscribers complained about seeing a blue screen on Sky, despite having paid for the service. A year later, many viewers have taken to social media reporting the same problem.

ITV had advised viewers to sign up early for their Box Office events, due to processing times getting the channel cleared on viewing cards. New customers were reminded to ensure the viewing card number and postcode matched the details held by Sky. 

Viewer backlash on social media. Pic: Twitter.

Meanwhile, viewers who wanted to stream the night's events via TVPlayer encountered different problems. High demand for the service caused server strain. Within an hour of the live coverage starting, TVPlayer confirmed additional capacity had been made available to cope with demand.

TVPlayer struggled with demand. Pic: Twitter

Social media is now awash with demands for compensation and refunds from ITV, with calls for broadcast regulator Ofcom to intervene. ITV has yet to respond publicly, but has advised users with issues to email them with their postcode and Sky Viewing Card Number to