CNBC reports that the sports network is suing Verizon for alleged breach of contract. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in New York Supreme Court, where ESPN is seeking damages related to the plan. The cause of the controversy is Verizon’s plan to let its FiOS customers choose a more personalized bundle of channels rather than being tied into paying for over 300 channels.
ESPN accuses Verizon of breaching contract
According to CNBC, ESPN wants to stop Verizon from “unfairly depriving” it of “the benefits of the bargain.” ESPN says that the plan violates an existing agreement between the two companies.
“ESPN is at the forefront of embracing innovative ways to deliver high-quality content and value to consumers on multiple platforms, but that must be done in compliance with our agreements,” stated the sports network. “We simply ask that Verizon abide by the terms of our contracts.”
For its part, Verizon denies that the new plan is in violation of any existing agreement. “Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice, and the industry should be focused on giving consumers what they want,” a Verizon spokesperson said to PCMag. “We are well within our rights under our agreements to offer customers these choices.”
New plan offers more flexibility for customers
Verizon announced plans to add CBS Sports Network to the lineup for its Custom TV plan from May 1, which means that customers will be able to watch sports with or without an agreement with ESPN. Verizon announced its Custom TV service earlier this month, and although it doesn’t let customers pick and choose an exact lineup of channels, it does let them choose from a number of pre-curated packages.
Customers can now choose from two genre-based bundles in addition to over 35 basic channels. ESPN is seemingly unhappy with the fact that its channels will be part of an optional sports bundle instead of being included in every Verizon customer’s basic package, and it will now be up to a judge to decide whether the move constitutes a violation of the previous agreement between the two companies.