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Disney, Verizon Settle Lawsuit Over ESPN and Channel Bundling

Disney and Verizon have reached a settlement in the lawsuit related to channel bundling that Disney filed against the telco giant last year.

Last April, Disney claimed that Verizon’s effort to assemble a smaller bundle of channels giving consumers the choice of whether to include ESPN from a menu of options violated the terms of Disney’s broader carriage agreements with Verizon’s FiOS pay TV service.

Details of the settlement of Disney’s suit, filed in New York Supreme Court, were not disclosed beyond prepared statements from Disney and Verizon execs.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Verizon,” said Sean Breen, senior VP of affiliate sales for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “We look forward to working with them to provide great content to consumers for years to come.”

“ESPN is an important partner of ours,” said Terry Denson, VP of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon. “We look forward to further collaborating with them to deliver customers content across all of our platforms.”

News of the settlement comes hours before Disney reports its first-quarter 2016 earnings later today. It also comes after a flurry of news last week about OTT skinny bundle packages coming together at Hulu and YouTube. Disney is expected to make its suite of ESPN channels available in the bundle of Hulu, in which Disney is a part owner with 21st Century Fox and Comcast.

Verizon FiOS has about 5.8 million subscribers. It’s not clear how many subscribers have signed up for its Custom TV service that charges $65 a month.

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