Mobile ESPN, UnMobile Soon?


Mobile ESPN, the much touted but lightly used MVNO is about to go through a major upheaval, report Rafat Ali & Staci Kramer over at PaidContent. They say that the MVNO could either be sold or shut down before the end of Disney’s fiscal year. “A lot has changed since then, with the sentiment for MVNOs swinging like a schizophrenic off medication,” they write. We have been a tad skeptical of the whole MVNO craze, and are also worried about the possible impact of a MVNO shakeout on Sprint Nextel.

Update: The WSJ says Mobile ESPN will shut down soon and try to reinvent itself as a content provider for other wireless operators. We contacted Mobile ESPN and are waiting for a response.


Jesse Kopelman

Keep in mind that Sprint themselves helped kill ESPN Mobile by offering similar programing through PowerVision. They seem to be running a lot of commercials touting their (Sprint) exclusive NFL programing, lately. All indicators point to CS being dead-on about a strategy/management change at Sprint. In the wireless world, nobody has street cred (not to mention Wall Street cred) like Donahue.

Charlie Sierra

I think the real story here is what additional mgt shakeups are forthcoming from SprintNextel. Former COO Len Lauer was just released and he was big pusher of the MVNO strategy, ditto that for current CEO Forsee.

Enter Tom Douahue, former Nextel CEO?

This is the only interesting question in the near term. Lets remember what TD vis-a-vie MVNO’s at Nextel. They did a deal with BoostMobile, and then quickly changed their minds and took 100% control of the operation.

So RSN (real soon now), TD will be the new SprintNextel CEO.

Longer term impact of this MVNO shutdown, is now are the MSO’s going to structure any relationship with Sprint?

Watch the MSO’s and TD.

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