MobileESPN To Relaunch As a Content App Exclusively With Verizon; Dumps Sprint; MediaFlo Channel Too

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The day it was announced that former head honcho Manish Jha left to join Vantrix as CEO, comes the news, via AP, that MobileESPN is relaunching, not as an MVNO but as a content application, exclusively on Verizon Wireless in a multi-year deal. The deal has not been finalized, this story says, but would be announced tomorrow.
This means ESPN has dumped Sprint, its MVNO backbone/network provider, or more likely, it went the other way around.
The multiyear agreement giving VZW exclusive U.S. rights to offer the MobileESPN application on its V Cast phones….also, the companies will also announce the mobile TV channel launch on its soon-to-come MediaFlo service on Verizon.
I guess ESPN put so much money into building the custom apps for its MVNO service, so it makes sense to modify and port it onto another network…though I am surprised about the exclusive-deal part. It had a big chance of finally going D2C in a big way, but seems like it won’t, unless a variation will be offered to other network and handset users. Also, the MedaFLO service launch might have also influenced ESPN’s decision.
— It is to be included free as part of the $15 a month or $3 a day charge for VCast’s assorted multimedia offerings
— The Mobile ESPN application will be adapted to all phones compatible with VCast, starting with perhaps a couple of models at the outset.
Updated: Also, looks like Verizon already has the ESPN details up, here, unless this is an older promo. And some more details on MobileESPN’s old site, here.
For everything MobileESPN, read our dedicated category.
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What a waste of time and money – I am surprised at ESPN’s initial failure here. It was clear since day one. The only thing the previous formula had in common with ESPN with the extreme expenditure! I am sure they could have done great without the massive waste of dollars had they not gotten carried away as a team and valued their content much more since day one. Their MVNO was a great proposition for the market, and people would had embraced the formula had they taken the time to look into basic details such a customer conversion, handsets, contracts- wow!. They should have gone with VZ since day one. All things considered this is a good “rescue the operation” move with a better? partner. But WHY exclusive deals? Let's see the economics of the formula to understand it.

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