Published: 10.02 Europe/London, May 16, 2011

Dutch cable operator Ziggo was unable to cope with the heavy demand for the live PPV coverage of this Sunday’s Dutch football final between Ajax and FC Twente. The website failed and despite hiring an additional 350 call centre workers not all orders could be honoured.

All Dutch premier league football is broadcast exclusively by Eredivisie Live and Eredivisie Live HD, but games are also available a la carte for €5.95. Normally, the operator processes a few thousand orders for each game, but this time demand was so overwhelming that the On Demand website crashed.

The website normally allows people to order an event, after which their set-top box is enabled for the game. Alternatively, viewers can order the game by calling a special service number by phone.

In response to the heavy demand, Ziggo hired around 350 extra call centre workers to handle the incoming calls, but according to the Dutch news website Totaal TV, this was not sufficient to handle all orders for the match. At UPC there were apparently no problems, but UPC subscribers can order PPV events via the red button on their set-top box, while at Ziggo viewers need to either go to the website or call the operator.

According to the report, waiting time for the call centre was up to one hour. There were about between 75,000 and 100,000 requests for the game.