ESPN Sues Verizon Over New Pay TV Offering

espnESPN, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Co., has filed suit against Verizon for breach of contract relating to Verizon’s new pay TV plan.

Legal documents sent to the Supreme Court of New York State claim Verizon violated its obligations “under certain license agreements.” Traditional subscriptions require customers to pay for a large group of networks often including ESPN, whereas Verizon’s new pay TV package offers customers smaller genre-specific channel packs such as sports, kids or news.

Media companies that focus on sport content, such as ESPN, are alleging these packages violate their contract with Verizon. “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,” said ESPN in a statement.

A Verizon spokesperson was adamant the company is in compliance with existing agreements saying, “Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice and the industry should be focused on what the consumer wants and giving them what they want.”

Last week, Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast’s NBC Universal said the new Verizon offering violates the terms of their contracts. It is unclear at this point if Fox and NBC will file suit.