Wednesday, January 04, 2006

JupiterResearch: ESPN Dukes it Out...with Itself

Todd Chanko posts at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs about ABC Sports deepening "Disney's relationship with Apple's iTunes. Chanko wonders whether the availability of ABC Sports & ESPN content for iPods will "cannibalize its new MVNO service."

As Chanko notes, ESPN Mobile is priced differently, aiming "to charge $199 for the phone alone, not counting the monthly subscription fee, starting at $64.99, compared to $1.99 per iPod sports clip." Chanko asks:

But wouldn't the new home of Monday Night Football want to give itself a head start in the phone biz? It's a little late in the game to be testing the waters for selling short-form sports content. Just do it. And leave the iPod to Desperate Housewives - their husbands and boyfriends can get hooked up with ESPN Mobile.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but as I wrote earlier about Motorola playing with both Apple iTunes and lanching its own iRadio service, the industry wants to ride the iPod gravy train as well as see what other new business models might stick. I guess ESPN is just covering all of its bases....