Verizon Warns Fios Customers About Possible Blackout of ESPN, Disney Channels

By Christine Zosche 

Verizon Communications Inc. warned that Fios TV customers may lose access to ESPN and Disney Channel among other networks if it can’t reach a new carriage agreement with the Walt Disney Co., the latest fight between media companies over carrying and paying for content. (WSJ)

The parties say negotiations are ongoing, but if a deal can’t be reached, Disney’s channels could go dark for Fios customers at 5 p.m. Eastern on New Year’s Eve, and Disney is running ads warning them of the prospect. (THR)

Disney has started airing ads aimed at the 4.5 million subscribers to Fios. The spots carry the message “don’t lose your shows.” (Deadline)

Verizon’s Fios reached about 4.6 million subscribers at the end of 2017. In the third quarter of this year, Verizon said it lost 63,000 video subscriptions, “impacted by ongoing shifts away from linear video offerings,” but notched a “net add” of 54,000 internet connections. (Variety)