Media Companies protest over Verizon's 'skinny' programming packages
Earlier this week, telecommunications company Verizon Communications Inc, announced a new offering for its FiOS television service which allows users to choose smaller packages of television channels at lower price than a usual pay-TV package. After the company's roll out the 'skinny' packages, owners of some popular channels stand against Verizon Communications and accused it of violating contracts.
According to reports, after the new offer, customers will be able to subscribe Verizon's basic TV package that starts at about $54.99 a month. The package includes local broadcast channels, Food Network, HGTV, CNN and AMC.
Sports pack officered by the company includes sports channels such as NBC Sports channel, ESPN and the national Fox Sports 1 network. The company also offers a children's programming pack, which includes popular channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. In addition, the monthly package includes popular channels like MTV, E! and Comedy Central.
ESPN is among the channels that are standing against Verizon's skinny packages. According to Walt Disney's ESPN, its contract with the company does not allow the telecommunications giant to offer ESPN as part of a specialized sports package. Disney has also objected Verizon's latest move.
The fight is between popular television channels and pay-TV distributors over so-called skinny programming packages. Media companies want to protect their most lucrative source of revenue, which is a cable programming fee. On the other side, distributors like Verizon, Dish Network and DirecTV are struggling to find ways to offer customized packages to customers so that that they can hold onto customers.
On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal have also joined Disney's protest against Verizon's customized packages. In a statement, Fox said, "We reject Verizon's view that it can pursue the new packaging scheme it announced yet still comply with our agreements".