ESPN today announced it has officially settled with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) after the sports network sued the MSO over its Custom TV skinny bundle. ESPN said the terms of the new settlement will not be disclosed.
The resolution comes a little more than one year after ESPN originally filed suit in the New York State Supreme Court, alleging that Verizon was "unfairly depriving" it of "the benefits of its bargain." But now the two companies have reached an agreement and are seemingly looking forward to continuing work together.
"We have a long-standing relationship with Verizon," Sean Breen, senior vice president of affiliate sales at Disney and ESPN Media Networks, said in a statement. "We look forward to working with them to provide great content to consumers for years to come."
"ESPN is an important partner of ours," Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition at Verizon, said in a statement. "We look forward to further collaborating with them to deliver customers content across all of our platforms."
The dustup began in April 2015 when Verizon introduced its new slimmer TV channel bundles that stranded ESPN and ESPN 2 within a sports add-on tier. Then, in January 2016, Verizon made changes to its Custom TV packages and began offering a "Custom TV - Sports & More" package that included both ESPN and ESPN 2, priced at $70 as a triple play option.
Shortly after Verizon made the tweaks, reports surfaced that both parties were closing in on a settlement. But Verizon insisted the changes were due to customer feedback and not because of pressure from ESPN.
- see this release
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