ESPN sues Verizon over a la carte TV offerings

Just weeks after announcing its plans to offer a la carte viewing, Verizon is being sued by ESPN.

According to ESPN, the "skinny" viewing options would violate its contracts with distributors, which specify that ESPN bundles cannot be broken up.

The lawsuit against Verizon was filed in New York this morning.

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

Verizon’s a la carte plan would allow users to choose what channels they receive each month. This option threatens the traditional ‘bundle’ option, which has been the norm in the cable TV business model for many years.

“Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice, and the industry should be focused on giving consumers what they want,” a Verizon spokesperson told re/Code. “We are well within our rights under our agreements to offer customers these choices.”

Verizon’s a la carte plan isn’t exactly a new one, as many providers including HBO and Sling TV have been moving toward a similar model for some time.

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