Rocky Times For MVNOs?

Things are getting a bit dicey in the MVNO Land. Helio is costing Earthlink some profits. Amp’d is d’amp’d. And now reports are trickling in about Mobile ESPN having some difficulties in that attracting sports fans to their service. Walt Disney & Company owned service will have 30,000 users by end of 2006, lagging the 240,000-user target for the current year, a report from Merrill Lynch says.

Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen says it will cost the company as much as $135 million, and they should shut it down. (I wonder if she has taken into account the airtime being devoted to the service on ESPN, instead of taking paid ads. )

Rafat thinks they should tweak the model, but not shut it down this early in the game. I think getting cooler phones should be a start. I had stopped by at Best Buy to check out the service, but there was not a single handset that would make me sign up for the service.