Fourth and long for mobile video | CNET News.com: Disney-owned ESPN is going to broadcast 25 live college football games in their entirety to Mobile ESPN subscribers. But to get the games, customers have to swap their phone and service plans for those offered by ESPN, and Paul has no intention of doing that.
Supporters of mobile applications predicted years ago that by now, consumers would be clamoring for these kinds of cell phone features. But, one look at the mobile climate, and there's nothing but crickets chirping.
Rob Sanderson, an analyst at American Technology Research, said it's not yet time to throw in the towel, but acknowledged that at the very least, the market doesn't appear ripe.
"Maybe it never works, but it's extremely early yet," Sanderson said.
Analysts have noted that something is amiss when ESPN has trouble selling its bread-and-butter programming. On the strength of one of the world's most recognizable sports brands, ESPN thought it could tap into its loyal fan base to sell sports content to mobile subscribers. Instead, Disney CEO Robert Iger has acknowledged that sales have been "lower than hoped."
Merrill Lynch has issued projections that show subscribers coming in at around 30,000 by the end of the year. That's a tiny fraction of the more than 90 million households that receive ESPN's TV broadcasts.
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