We learned last week that Verizon would be updating its FiOS TV service to give customers a lot more freedom with regards to their channel selection, and we followed-up over the weekend about ESPN's immediate objection to the move. Despite ESPN's objections, FiOS Custom TV is now open to Verizon customers. Isn't business fun?
To be fair to ESPN, a contract is a contract, and as outsiders, it's hard or impossible to tell if Verizon is in fact breaking an agreement. Nonetheless, the move Verizon has made is a good one. I wouldn't go to the extent of calling it "great" quite yet, as there are quite a number of caveats, but it's still a lot better than what was available before.
In order to take advantage of Verizon's updated service, you must have a basic package, and then you'll be allowed to choose a minimum of 2 out of 7 packages. These packages include Kids, Pop Culture, Lifestyle, Entertainment, News & Info, Sports, and Sports Plus. The first caveat is the fact that you can't get only one package - that's kind of a bummer. Another is the fact that if you want the Sports Plus package, you're required to have the standard Sports package as well. Perhaps this relates to the ongoing ESPN debate.
If purchased online, Verizon says that those choosing to go the triple-play route, which includes TV with two packs, home phone, and Internet (25Mbps), will pay $75/mo. Of course, any of the services can be scaled upward. The company also notes that its previous cable plans are not going away, although I can't imagine they'll prove that popular now that this new scheme is live.