VERIZON, ESPN MAKE PROGRESS ON TV PACKAGE DISPUTE
Walt Disney Co’s ESPN sports network and Verizon Communications Inc have made progress in their talks to settle a legal dispute over a TV package that lets customers choose bundles of channels, according to a court filing on Wednesday. The companies asked New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan to put the legal proceedings over Verizon’s Fios Custom TV package on hold until March 28, according to the filing. In April 2015, Verizon created a stir with Custom TV, a smaller pay-TV bundle that moved some traditional base-tier chan- nels into optional add-on packages. The channels it moved included ESPN, which sued Verizon, alleging breach of contract. Last week, Verizon said it revamped Custom TV and now offers a choice of one of two packages with more than 100 channels and three optional genre-specific packs, instead of the slimmer offering of 36 channels plus numerous add-ons. One of the packages, called “Sports & more,” features 160 channels including ESPN. A spokeswoman for ESPN said last week that the network was “encouraged” by the new offering.