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Verizon Could Be Impacted by Disney Channel Blackout


Dec. 27 2018, Published 8:07 a.m. ET

Verizon continues to lose its FiOS video subscribers

Verizon’s (VZ) FiOS video service is its pay-TV service. This division is already declining as a result of the cord-cutting trend. Verizon lost 63,000 FiOS video customers in the last quarter. Similarly, Comcast (CMCSA) lost 106,000 subscribers, Dish Network (DISH) lost 341,000, and AT&T (T) lost 297,000 pay-TV subscribers in the last quarter.

According to a report from Deadline, Verizon FiOS subscribers could face a blackout of Walt Disney Company (DIS) channels in the new year if both parties don’t reach a financial agreement. The main issue is regarding the ESPN carriage fee.

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The cord-cutting trend is impacting the pay-TV market big time

The cord-cutting trend is also impacting Disney. Disney has been reporting declines in its ESPN subscriber base. However, Disney launched its over-the-top ESPN service named ESPN+ in April 2018 and hopes that it will help it resurrect the decline in ESPN subscriber base.

The video streaming market is growing at a fast pace. AT&T’s DIRECTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Google’s (GOOG) YouTube TV, and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation Vue service are some of the services that users are adopting to cut their TV bills. The conflict between Verizon and Disney comes at a time when the pay-TV market is already struggling to compete against the video streaming market.


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