Verizon’s McAdam: We would sell skinny bundles 'exclusively’ if programming deals would allow it

middle-aged, white executive speaking on stage at a conference
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said 40 percent of the FiOS pay-TV packages now sold include skinny bundles, and the company would offer only smaller programming packages if it’s programming deals would allow it. 

“We would sell skinny bundles exclusively,” McAdam said Monday at the Internet Association’s Virtuous Circle conference in Menlo Park, Calif., an event covered by Variety, among other media. 

“The 300-channel bundle is going away,” McAdam added. “Customers don’t want it.” 

McAdam’s progressive position on skinny programming packages is somewhat unique to the pay-TV industry. Charter, for example, says it’s experimenting with leaner packages for economy-minded customers. 

“But I also think that you can make a fully featured service more attractive and more worth what it does cost. And we can use that to drive into the marketplace,” Charter Chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge told investors during the MSO’s second-quarter earnings call in August. 

For his part, McAdam used his forum Monday to take a shot at Disney, which sued Verizon in 2015 when the company first introduced a skinny bundle that relegated ESPN to an add-on tier. Verizon and Disney have since settled that suit, but McAdam said that Complex Media — a joint venture between Verizon and Hearst — now has a bigger audience on Verizon platforms than ESPN does. 

Meanwhile, McAdam stressed more patience for Go90, Verizon’s struggling mobile programming platform. “We are still in the learning mode with Go90,” he said. 

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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