TV and radio stations owned by the Walt Disney Company and 21 st Century Fox are refusing to run commercials in New York promoting Verizon's new "Custom HD" pay-TV program bundle system, the wireless giant says.
Verizon and Level 3 have agreed to make nice. The two potentially contentious telecom players have entered into a long-term bilateral interconnection agreement to ensure "that customers on the two networks can continue to exchange data in an effective and efficient matter," said a Verizon blog post by Libby Jacobson, director of digital communications.
I put my conspiracy theory guy pants on this morning as I emailed a couple of media analysts with a half-baked theory whose time has come: In hoisting a controversial new bundling strategy that has irked its programming partners, Verizon is really working to build leverage to negotiate content rights for its upcoming wireless OTT service.
There seems to be a disconnect between Verizon's plans to break apart FiOS video bundles and the way those who provide content for those bundles feel. FiOS, as the company reported in its earnings call earlier this week, is a bright spot in the sagging wireline space and Verizon is hoping to enhance that business by giving customers more choice.
NBCUniversal and 21 st Century Fox became the latest programmers to push back on Verizon FiOS' bold new skinny program bundling strategy.
Frontier Communications has named Becky B. Potts as its new president for the telco's national region, overseeing operations in multiple states in the Midwest, Southeast and Western states.
Verizon is seeing more of its FiOS customers adopt its symmetrical 75 Mbps Quantum speed tier, a factor that's helped the telco offset an overall decline in first-quarter 2015 wireline revenue.
Verizon says it doesn't need the permission of programmers to implement its new "Custom HD" bundling strategy for its pay-TV service. "We believe we're able to offer these packages under our existing contracts," said Fran Shammo, executive VP and CFO of Verizon, when asked during Tuesday's first-quarter earnings call whether his company had discussed the strategy with programmers prior to deploying it.
ESPN is pushing back on Verizon's new strategy to create smaller, more customized programming bundles for its FiOS pay-TV service.
Verizon's FiOS will introduce a flexible, customized pay-TV bundling service, not too different from that of Dish's recently launched Sling TV.