ESPN Uses College Football Playoffs To Launch Propaganda War Against Verizon

Bob Iger, Mickey Mouse at Mickey’s 90th Spectacular on the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, on October 6, 2018. Credit: David Edwards/MediaPunch /IPXDavid Edwards/MediaPunch/IPx

Can’t wait to observe my Notre Dame squad tackle Clemson within the College Football Playoff semifinals this Saturday. Or not.

Tuned in to ESPN this morning and on the underside of the display appeared a warning that I (as a Verizon Fios buyer) might quickly not be capable to watch the CFB playoffs and different programming, and I ought to name Verizon. A couple of minutes later ESPN ran a business saying I may not be capable to watch the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl and offered a Verizon quantity for me to name.

I referred to as Verizon. A recorded message basically tells me that ESPN is spreading misinformation about Verizon clients dropping ESPN when the community’s contract with Verizon expires later this month. The recording says Walt Disney-owned ESPN desires to cost Verizon lots of of hundreds of thousands of extra for ESPN. The recording additionally says Verizon has been negotiating in good religion with Disney.

My take is Disney, which already costs by far the very best affiliate payment of any sports activities channel—round $eight monthly per subscriber—is utilizing the CFB playoffs and bowl video games to play hardball.

Disney is aware of Verizon isn’t dealing from energy. For all of 2017, Verizon misplaced 75,000 pay TV customers, marking the primary yr the wi-fi big ever misplaced Fios video customers.  

This kind of battle is nothing new, after all. About two years in the past, Verizon and Disney settled a lawsuit that accused Verizon of breaching its contract with the sports activities community when it created a brand new cable bundle for its Fios tv service final yr. The lawsuit struck on the long-standing observe of bundling channels into broad, more and more costly cable packages that buyers have begun to insurgent towards by abandoning their pay-TV suppliers and selecting lower-priced web providers like Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV. Disney was preventing towards Verizon’s “skinny bundle” TV initiative, clearing a path for pay-TV suppliers to experiment with new methods of promoting TV channels.

ESPN misplaced about $2 million clients in fiscal 2018 because it continues to get hammered by cord-cutting. Memo to Bob Iger: A propaganda battle at this late hour isn’t any solution to hold clients. In reality, it’s a Mickey Mouse transfer by Disney.


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