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Verizon CEO: We Would Sell Skinny Bundles Exclusively if We Could

Lowell McAdam
Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6079375c)

Verizon would ditch the big TV bundles tomorrow if the networks allowed it, said CEO Lowell McAdam at the Internet Association’s Virtuous Circle conference in Menlo Park, Calif. Monday. “We would sell skinny bundles exclusively,” said McAdam.

He said that Verizon’s skinny bundles already make up for 40 percent of the company’s volume, and speculated that the company could grow this to far over 50 percent if it was able to sell networks in smaller bundles. “The 300 channel bundle is gonna go away,” said McAdam. “Customers don’t want it.”

Verizon has in the past feuded with Disney over the broadcaster’s demands to sell its networks, including ESPN, in a bundled fashion. The two companies settled a lawsuit on the issue after Disney had claimed that the telco was violating contractual agreements by selling skinny bundles without ESPN.

McAdam didn’t comment on the lawsuit Monday. However, he took a jab at Disney by saying that Complex Media,  which Verizon jointly acquired with Hearst in April, already attracts more eyeballs than ESPN.

Asked about Verizon’s mobile video service Go90, McAdam declined to share any audience data ahead of the company’s earnings later this month. However, he acknowledged that there is room for improvement. “We are still in the learning mode with Go90,” McAdam said.

McAdam also commented on Samsung’s problems with the Note 7 recall, saying that he hasn’t seen anything like it during his entire career. “It’s a major black eye for them,” he said.

Verizon is letting consumers return their Note 7 phones, but McAdam said that the company won’t be swapping the phone out against replacement models, or sell any new Note 7 phones for the time being. “It’s not safe at this point in our view,” he said.