It's not a horrible contract if both parties agreed to it
It's a horrible contract if it purports to require that consumers pay ESPN even if they don't want it. In fact, that's arguably illegal.
Well, the contract doesn't require that consumers pay EPSN. The contract requires that Verizon pays ESPN. Verizon could theoretically offer ESPN to their customers for the 5 months of football season, and then drop the rates during the rest of the year. However, that wouldn't absolve Verizon from having to pay ESPN for the entire year. But that's Verizon's problem.