Verizon FiOS Ads Pulled by Walt Disney Co. and Twenty-First Century Fox

Recently, it was announced that Twenty-First Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. would no longer run Verizon FiOS commercials in certain markets that advertise Verizon’s cable package, arguing that the company’s FiOS TV, a cable program that is said to be cheaper and slimmer than basic cable, violated existing agreements.

According to a news article at L.A. Biz, Verizon called the move made by the two companies, along with Comcast Corporation, an “anticompetitive tactic.” A spokeswoman for Verizon revealed to the New York Times that Disney would pull ads run for the cable program at television stations in New York including A & E and WABC, in addition to ESPN radio. In Philadelphia, the ABC affiliate pulled advertising for the FiOS custom TV stations. Fox has decided to pull the Verizon ads from WNYW, its New York affiliate, and YES, a sports cable channel.

According to another article at Reuters, Walt Disney Co. did run the Verizon ads in Pittsburgh, Boston, and Washington, D.C. last week. Disney declined to comment on the commercials, while a spokesperson for Fox told the Times that the company desired to keep the company’s discussions regarding commercials confidential.

Verizon’s FiOS Custom TV package makes it possible for customers to sign up for a basic package consisting of 36 channels; customers are also able to add on two news, sports, children’s program, or other genre-specific packages. With a cost of $55 per month, the package targets those who have chosen streaming services over cable due to cost.

On Wednesday, April 22, Disney notified Verizon via e-mail that the company would not run FiOS Custom TV ads on their channels, claiming that the ad violates contract agreements. Verizon maintains that the company, under current agreements with media companies to offer the slimmed-down service, is within its rights by giving subscribers their basic package of 36 fixed channels for the monthly charge.

Ultimately, at the bottom of the dispute is that while pay-TV providers desire to break up the large bundles of channels being offered by online companies and cable rivals at the current time, media companies are attempting to keep specific channels that are popular in the larger packages they offer in an effort to protect business.

At the time of news reports, Verizon and Disney had no comments on the pulled television ads.

The Los Angeles business attorneys at Spotora & Associates realize that the business and entertainment worlds are highly competitive, and the claims arising from television programming package agreements can be particularly complex. Whether your company is being accused of violating a contract or another entity is in breach of your agreement, contact us right away and our senior associates will identify and enforce your contractual rights to resolve the issue as efficiently as possible.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015 at 8:36 pm and is filed under Business & Corporate Law, Contract Law, Entertainment Law, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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