Verizon FiOS adopts ‘add-on package’ TV model — Upsets ESPN in the process

Sling TV seems to be causing waves in the traditional TV space because Verizon FiOS announced that it will be offering its FiOS TV customers greater choice by now allowing them to select from seven different $10 channel packages which can be added to a base channel lineup. Sound familiar? For a bundle price of $65 per month, customers get 35 base channels, their choice of two add-on channel packs, and internet service. The service was set to go live tomorrow, April 19th, but not if ESPN has anything to say about it. The cable sports network says Verizon’s new channel structure violates their existing contract with Verizon. With this new add-on based lineup, ESPN’s channels are relegated to a separate sports package. It appears ESPN’s contract with Verizon mandates that their channels must be included with FiOS’s base TV lineup.

Verizon is rumored to be gearing up to launch an internet TV service to compete with Sony’s Playstation Vue, Dish’s Sling TV, and the numerous other over-the-top services expected to arrive later this year. This new FiOS TV channel restructuring may be hinting at what we’ll see from Verizon in the near future. The argument raised by ESPN gives us insight into the sort of leverage the top cable networks have over these new TV services. Sling TV was praised for including ESPN’s channels in their base lineup, but it’s now looking like they may not have had a choice in the matter.


  1. porkie says:

    This article is so flawed. Its basically just a copy and paste of the real article found all over the web. Of course the top cable networks are gonna mean more to the content providers, cause the more money the cable networks make mean the more money the providers make. Its kinda like comparing Jordan to Steve Kerr, of courss Jordans words meant more when playing for the Bulls, cause he made more money for the team. Espn is basically a low rated network that has made the most money for the past few years off of commercial time for one reason, Monday Night Football. If ABC had not won the bid for Monday nNight Football and decided to broadcast it on ESPN then ESPN would slide back down in the position they were in before. the high teens. Monday night Football cost more than any cable show by far to run commercials on and that is without doubt the only reason ESPN is the number one cable network revenue wise. Being the number one network in revenue usually means that you are the number one in ratings, but that all changed when Monday Night Football went from broadcaast TV to Cable TV. They could put Monday Night Football on Destination America and it would become the revenue leader ffor cable networks. Once you read through the BS, ESPN has one show that has very high ratings and one show that was on broadcat TV for 30 years that was able to demand high prices for ads and thats Monday Night Football. ESPN would be just another sports network without the backing of ABC/Disney and Monday Night Footbal, just like they were a few years ago before ABC gave them the gift of Monday Night Football. Go look aat the top ten revenue leaders for cable networks, ESPN is number one but is actally the lowest rated of all, that should tell you something. ESPN is not powerful, but ABC/Disney are.

    • porkie says:

      Whats ESPN gonna do when the NFL gets tired of the ratings drops for Monday Night Football and demands that ABC/Disney pust their show back on brodcast TV? I have a feeling when ABC/Disneys contract for Monday Night Football runs out that we will once again see MNF back on broadcast TV and ESPN fall back down to their rightful spot of barely cracking the top twenty cable networks. For god sakes they have been getting beat by shows like Monday Night Raw on the regular which never happened when Monday Night Football was on broadcast TV. ESPN cannot even pull down a million viewers for thei flagship show Sportscenter. I guaarantee ESPNs reighn as the top cable revenue leader is coming to an end as soon as Monday Night Football goes elsewhere, and it will be sooner than later.

  2. Len Mullen says:

    Sony’s View and Apple’s imminent streaming service are both ESPN/Disney-less. People who do not care about sports should consider these. Right now, ESPN has a stranglehold on the industry and consumers’ wallets. You DO have choices.

    • Rick says:

      Yep, they want to be on every cable bill and ESPN is $7-$9 of the bill per subscriber, whether they watch it or not. Also why they fight like this to be on the basic package, so everyone pays for it. A nice way to subsidize overpaying for live sports content by passing through the cost to all cable customers. Surprised they gave into Sling; though they’re likely getting the same rate or more per subscriber, customers finally getting some leverage int he market with an option to pay $20 per month to access it instead of $80+ with standard cable packages.

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