An open letter to ESPN and Verizon

I would love to watch Monday night football. I like ESPN, but don’t like it enough to spend $30 per month to get it. Verizon will only allow me to get ESPN if I buy a bundle of channels that I don’t want to get the one or two channels I do want.

As large as ESPN is, perhaps you might negotiate with Verizon so that I can buy ESPN a la carte. Or, since I have a smart TV and fast internet, perhaps you could develop an app so that I can subscribe to ESPN like I do with Netflix or Amazon Prime. I would like to watch your stuff, but I don’t want to watch it bad enough to spend $360 per year on it. Out of the 17 weeks of NFL football, less than half of the games are interesting matchups and since I live on the East Coast and have a job, I can only watch until halftime anyway.

Verizon, I would think that with web enabled televisions, more people want the flexibility of picking their own channel lineup instead of being forced to subscribe to a bunch of channels they will never watch. I’m sorry, but I really don’t care what Oprah says or wants me to watch. I will probably never watch the Military Channel, MSNBC, CNN or HGTV. I get weather updates on my smart phone so the I haven’t watched the weather channel in years. The list of channels that I won’t watch is much larger than the ones I do watch.

With web enabled TV’s and the flexibility they provide, I would think that it is time for Verizon and other “cable” providers to rethink their bundling strategies and allow consumers to pick (and pay for) only the channels they want.

Learn the lesson of Blackberry. If you fail to innovate, you will be left behind. The old cable TV model won’t work in a web enabled world.

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