ESPN Suing Verizon For Allegedly Unbundling Channel From Main Programming

CBS Connecticut

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN is suing Verizon in an escalating clash over how the popular sports channel is being sold in a discounted pay-TV package.

The complaint filed Monday in New York’s state Supreme Court alleges Verizon is breaking its contract with ESPN, owned by Walt Disney Co., by unbundling the sports channel from the main programming line-up of Verizon’s FiOS TV.

The legal showdown could have ripple effects on how other pay-TV programming is packaged. Cable and satellite services are scrambling to retain subscribers as the advent of Internet video spawns new and less expensive ways to stay entertained and informed.

Verizon is allowing customers to subscribe to a bare-bones package of 35 channels for $55 per month, with the option of adding other two other tiers of programming such as a sports package that includes ESPN. The streamlined packages are meant to appeal to budget-minded consumers weary…

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