Verizon comes up with a “skinny bundle” that excludes ESPN. Mickey cries foul and sues. Verizon revises its “skinny bundle” arrangement and comes up with a second option that includes ESPN. Mickey seems pleased.
In a statement, ESPN said, “We are encouraged by the changes that Verizon has made to Custom TV.” It added that it expected subscribers to enjoy “ESPN and ESPN2 as part of the new entry-level Custom TV offering.”
Verizon says it’s not about the lawsuit at all.
A Verizon spokesman said the changes had not been made to settle the lawsuit ESPN filed in State Supreme Court in New York, but to adapt to its customers’ buying patterns.
Still, Verizon’s chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, said Verizon was planning to “refresh” Custom TV “in the short term to be in compliance with our contractual relationships.”
Uh hunh. Sounds like ESPN still has some leverage. The next contract negotiation will be interesting, though.