Tags: espn | verizon | court | tv | mini | bundles

ESPN, Verizon to Square Off in Court Over TV Mini Bundles

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 11:56 AM

ESPN filed a federal lawsuit against Verizon on Monday alleging that the cable giant violated a distribution contract when it left the sports network out of its newly launched FiOS "Custom TV" package.

"ESPN is at the forefront of embracing innovative ways to deliver high-quality content and value to consumers on multiple platforms, but that must be done in compliance with our agreements," the network told Fortune after filing the suit. "We simply ask that Verizon abide by the terms of our contracts."

Verizon rolled out the new $55-a-month TV bundle last week in a bid to be more competitive with less costly streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

It includes over 35 popular cable channels — NBC, CNN, HGTV, AMC, Food Network, etc. — as well as local channels. ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU are not included in the base bundle, but customers can get them at no additional charge by choosing two of seven "Channel Packs" that include them.

"Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice, and the industry should be focused on giving consumers what they want," a Verizon spokeswoman said in response to the lawsuit, The New York Times reported. "We are well within our rights under our agreements to offer our customers these choices."

21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal pulled commercials for the new "Custom TV" plans in protest of the new bundles. They also said the new plan violates their contracts with Verizon, but unlike ESPN have not filed any lawsuits.

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ESPN filed a federal lawsuit against Verizon on Monday alleging that the cable giant violated a distribution contract when it left the sports network out of its newly launched FiOS "Custom TV" package.
espn, verizon, court, tv, mini, bundles
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2015-56-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 11:56 AM
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