ESPN sues Verizon over violation of contract

ESPN sues Verizon over violation of contract

On Monday, ESPN, a unit of Walt Disney Co, sued Verizon Communications for violation of contract related to a new pay TV offering. ESPN said in a legal document, which was sent to the Supreme Court of New York State that Verizon breached its obligations ‘under certain license agreements’ and it wants that Verizon should pay for it.

Verizon's new pay TV plan is the main reason behind the dispute. This plan offers consumers a slimmer package of channels aiming at genre-specific packages such as sports, kids or news. In traditional subscriptions, customers pay for a large group of networks, which usually include ESPN.

According to ESPN and other media companies, which have a lot of sports content, the package breaches their contracts with Verizon. A Verizon spokesman said the company is following the current agreements.

A Verizon spokesman said that consumers want choice and the industry should concentrate on needs of the consumer and should provide them with what they want.

"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. We simply ask that Verizon abide by the terms of our contracts", ESPN said in a statement.

Last week, Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast's NBC Universal also said that the new Verizon offering breached the terms of their contracts. A spokeswoman for NBC did not comment concerning the matter. And a spokesman for Fox was also not available to comment.

Verizon said in a statement responding to the suit that its customers should have options related to their subscriptions.

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