ESPN MVNO — No Official Launch Date But Plenty Of Attention

The Disney sports MVNO announced last year with plans for a holiday ’05 debut may not launch until 2006. ESPN president George Bodenheimer — the third of three first-day keynoters — told CTIA attendees “our target was the end of the year. We’ll announce shortly whether we’ll do that.” He added that the net would rather do it right than launch fast. ESPN anchor Stuart Scott teased ESPN Mobile MVNO with what one exec described later as a “concept” spot that showed some of the ideas in play, including a”My ESPN” personalized start page.
Bodenheimer, also president of ABC Sports and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, took pains to reassure carriers that the leading sports net would continue to develop its licensed mobile content even though it will be competing for consumer business as an MVNO. He also warned them to “never underestimate the power of a passionate sports fan” — adding the claim that early adaptors of new technology watch ESPN more than any other channel. ESPN’s high CTIA profile includes the bar in the showcase Wireless Home with flat-panel TV and various phone models showing off services.
Not sure if this is on one of the model phones but just before the show started, as an ESPN Insider subscriber I was pitched via email for several ESPN push mobile offers including the new Insider mobile content pqckage. For an introductory price of $2 per month or $12 per year — they sure know how to play the odds — Insider subs can get their premium content like real-time scoreboards, draft coverage, local news and Insider exclusive material wirelessly. It’s just another example among many of charging people multiple times to receive the same content on multiple platforms.