The self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports on Monday filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court. ESPN is alleging breach of contract and is asking a judge to force Verizon to adhere to its original contract as well as award them damages in excess of $500,000.
ESPN isn’t the only network to criticize Verizon’s new offering. Both NBCUniversal and Fox Sports have spoken out against it although ESPN is the first to take legal action.
Katina Arnold, a spokesperson for ESPN, said the company is at the forefront of embracing innovative ways to deliver high-quality content and value to consumers on multiple platforms but it must be done in compliance with their agreements. Arnold added that ESPN is simply asking Verizon to abide by the terms of their contracts.
The network contends that Verizon is not allowed to offer ESPN and ESPN2 as part of a separate sports package. Instead, these channels must come bundled in the core offering. ESPN told The Washington Post that the dispute isn’t about money but about sending a message that cable partners can’t unilaterally change deals without permission.
Verizon in response issued statements to multiple publications. In it, the company said customers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice and the industry should be focused on giving customers what they want. As for the issue at hand, Verizon added that they are well within their rights under existing agreements to offer customers these choices.
Image via AP