VER­I­ZON, ESPN MAKE PROGRESS ON TV PACK­AGE DIS­PUTE

National Post (Latest Edition) - - FINANCIAL POST -

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.

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