Cord Snipped: ESPN Is Suing Verizon for Offering You More Affordable Cable Packages

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Verizon, laudably and because unlike Comcast and Time Warner it doesn’t have conflicting content interests, is offering new custom cable packages which allow you to basically create leaner bundles without all the channels you don’t watch. [You can’t go channel-by-channel, but you can bundle similar networks together at a much more granular level than you had previously been able to.] But the Worldwide Leader is suing Verizon… because ESPN and regional sports networks generate a non-insignificant portion of their revenue from cable subscribers who pay their monthly fee but don’t want their channels. From the LA Times:

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN quickly objected to the move, saying that its programming agreement with Verizon forbids the telecommunications giant from offering ESPN as part of a specialized sports tier.

Disney also is objecting to the positioning of its ABC Family and Disney Channels.

Disney’s reaction foreshadows a potentially high-profile struggle between media companies and pay-TV distributors over so-called skinny programming packages.

Media companies want to protect their most lucrative source of revenue: cable programming fees.

Just fighting the inevitable, Disney-ABC-ESPN is. This sort of a la cart bundle is coming one way or another – through streaming or traditional cable – and though ESPN has somewhat embraced the movement, fighting it in court seems like a waste of energy that should be put into figuring out how to continue to be profitable once virtually every cable subscribe in the country isn’t forced into paying for their networks. The decision here will set a near-term precedent, but change is coming regardless.

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  • Mitchie Tools Fan April 27, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Nothing on the roast?

    • FACE April 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      If they didn’t cover it already, they’re not going to. Let it go.

    • Two Funny Philly Guys April 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      We did not show up, but sent Conklin and Big Duddy in our place.

  • FACE April 27, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Verizon is trying to get ahead of the curve but if they violated their written contractual agreement, it could get worse before it gets better.

    Three days until MARIOTATIME!

  • Proud to Be Blocked by Mikey Miss on Twitter April 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

  • Machiavelli April 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Verizon’s little scheme is bullshit anyway. I called Fios about this to see what I could do to reduce my bill. I obviously wanted the sports package. After going through the bundles I wanted to select (which took a good 30 mins), I was told I’d be reducing the amount of channels I’d be receiving by 84 for a savings of….wait for it….$4.72! Seriously, what the fuck?!! Yes, most of those 84 channels I don’t watch. But invariably, since I had to just select certain bundles, I WOULD have to sacrifice some channels I may watch every now and then. And for what….$4.72?!? Bullshit!

    • Savvy Consumer April 27, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      When I heard the $74.99 promo I was going to call for info but then coincidentally an old mailer fell off my desk. Verizon was offering internet/phone/TV for $79.99/month a while back, no restrictions on channels.

  • Reggie Noble April 28, 2015 at 12:33 am

    ESPN is fighting for its relevance like the newspapers were in the early 2000’s. Outside of a few games every year, I honestly never watch it, and if it went away tomorrow I can’t say I would miss it. Being as it is the most expensive channel by far to carry, if I could drop it and save a few bucks each month I definite would.

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