Verizon fattens up FiOS Custom TV skinny bundle

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has announced a significant revamp to its FiOS Custom TV Package, significantly upping the number of channels in the base bundles.

The move comes 10 months after Verizon ruffled programmer feathers with the "skinny" offering which initially offered a base selection of only around 40 channels.

Under Verizon's new plan, customers can now choose among the following two bundles:

"Custom TV - Essentials" includes the broadcast networks and 78 cable channels, including Bravo, Fox News, History and Discovery Channel.

"Custom TV - Sports & More" will feature the broadcast networks and 59 cable channels, including ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network, along with all the available regional sports networks in customers' specific markets.

Genre-based add-on packs can be purchased at $6 a month each.

Verizon is pricing these bundles at $70 a month for a triple-play that also includes FiOS Internet and phone service.

The revision comes after Disney and ESPN sued Verizon, claiming the downgrading of the channel into an add-on tier was a violation of its carriage agreement.

Verizon, however, insists the revamp was driven by customer feedback, not pressure from program partners.

Verizon said Custom TV is now its most popular video product among new customers.

For more:
- read this Verizon press release
- read this Reuters story
- read this Variety story

Related articles:
ESPN is still the most 'valuable' channel to pay-TV operators, survey finds
Verizon's CFO: Custom TV will 'refresh' to comply with programming contracts
Verizon's CFO: Skinny Custom TV bundle customers aren't picking sports add-ons