Battle lines are forming in a high-stakes dispute over the TV bundle. Two major broadcast networks have aligned with Disney’s ESPN in protesting Verizon’s new FiOS offering, which threatens to break up the bundle.
The Washington Post reports that Fox and NBC have joined the fight against Verizon’s new “Custom TV” plan. The protest represents a “major hurdle” for the Verizon effort, the Post reports.
Verizon began offering the new FiOS Custom TV plan Sunday. The plan “was designed to allow customers more flexibility over what channels they choose to pay for instead of being forced to buy into huge packages of hundreds of channels,” the Post reports. “Verizon allows users to pick 35 basic channels that include local networks, CNN and The Food Network. They can then add on additional channels grouped by interests such as sports and children’s TV.”
As we reported earlier this week, ESPN responded with a statement saying such packages “would not be authorized by our existing agreements.” ESPN has insisted that ESPN and ESPN2 must be a part of the core package.
Now Fox and NBC are taking similar complaints to Verizon. Fox, whose Fox Sports 1 is a part of Verizon’s sports package and not the core lineup, issued a statement saying: “We reject Verizon’s view that it can pursue the new packaging scheme it announced yet still comply with our agreements.”
The Post report also quotes an NBC statement saying, “Verizon’s announced ‘Custom TV’ package does not comply with our existing agreement.”
Both Fox and NBC have reportedly been dealing directly with Verizon to address the issue.