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Verizon to Give Fios TV Customers Refunds for Lost Sports During COVID Shutdown

Though they finished their seasons, most leagues did not have the full slate of games this year

Verizon will give Fios TV customers refunds over lost sports games during the four-month sports shutdown earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Verizon has reiterated its commitment to supporting Fios TV customers who were impacted by the reduction in live sporting events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Verizon worked with Regional Sports Networks who did not broadcast the full slate of live sporting events last season, and secured refunds from them.”

Though the majority of sports leagues were able to start back up, the number of games was far fewer than they would have been in typical years. For example, the 2020 MLB season was drastically reduced from 162 games to only 60 this year, while the NBA and NHL had fewer cancelations. Those sports, especially during the regular season, play out primarily on local markets’ regional sports networks.

Verizon says customers will begin to see the refunds on their December bill, and will likely see further paybacks in early 2021.

The sports calendar was upended by the pandemic, and some major events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were canceled outright. Both the NHL and NBA completed their seasons in a bubble environment, though not every team was invited. The NBA season, which just concluded in October, is set to being next month, while the NHL is eyeing a New Year’s Day start for its 2020-21 season. Other top events like golf and tennis major tournaments and horse racing’s triple crown were held months later than usual.

Though it’s finding itself in an increasingly dire situation, the NFL remains the one league that has largely played its normal schedule, though it canceled its preseason slate, which are the only games that air on regional networks.