The war for owning television networks has become more savage with high stakes owners Disney and Verizon engaged in a virtual battle over programming fees, which could knock down small players like ESPN, ABC and other small channels owned by Disney which are not part of Fios television network. Arbitrators have said that if both battling firms are unable to find common ground by end of this year then Disney channels will no longer be available on Verizon’s network while channels affiliated to ABC network will not be available to Fios customers in New York and Philly region.
The dispute between Disney and Verizon had remained private till recently but became public knowledge after Disney started showing advertisements on its network that it would blacking out ABC and ESPN channels from January 2019. This would be very disappointing for several Fios customers as they will miss out on sports programs like Rose Bowl, NFL playoffs and others. Verizon has assured its customers that they are trying to reach a fair agreement with Disney which had rejected several peace offers in recent weeks so they may not be able to reach a deal before the deadline.
In its email to customers Verizon stated that Disney is asking for a lot of money to continue running its channels which the former is not able to afford as its key networks do not enjoy the high viewership that they used to earlier. Besides proposing a rate increase Disney has also asked Verizon to include ACC sports network that could make their viewership package expensive for its customers. In current scenario of declining television viewership media firms are asking content providers to pay up more for loss in revenue while both cable and dish services providers fear increasing fees as it could mean lesser customers.
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