ESPN’s “Intelligent Risk”

If you haven’t been following our in-depth coverage of ESPN’s mobile service launch (on our sister site, then this is a good primer story on ESPN’s thinking behind its Mobile ESPN service, in test markets this month and ready for national launch starting next year.

It will be costly to watch, or touch, Mobile ESPN. It is selling at Best Buy stores in four test markets for $399.99 after a $100 rebate; monthly service costs from $64.99 to $224.99. Sometime before Christmas, the phone is expected to be sold on; soon after Best Buy’s full retail debut in February, lower-priced handsets will be available. John Skipper, the ESPN executive VP, said that he did not expect ESPN to become a major cellphone player in the widest market, but that he anticipated finding takers among avid sports fans.

Also read the related story in NYT about another MVNO Amp’d Mobile, which is launching its ad campaign this month, even though the service launches next year.