Your Next Wireless Phone Company: ESPN?

The sports TV company will re-brand Sprint PCS' network to offer service of specific interest to sports fans.
ESPN said this week it will launch its own branded mobile network next year, claiming it will be the first such network aimed specifically at sports fans.

The company will re-brand service from Sprint, the two companies said in a statement. The service, to be called ESPN Mobile, will launch sometime in 2005 and, besides voice calling service, will also provide sports news, statistics, streaming audio and other services that will be of particular interest to sports fans, according to the company.

"Our goal is to extend our leadership and expertise in the two-screen environment, the television and computer, to a third screen that is becoming increasingly important to sports fans " the wireless device," George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports, said in a statement. "This enhances our mandate to serve fans anytime, anywhere."

Sprint has been more aggressive than other U.S. wireless operators at enabling third parties to private-label its services. AT&T also will offer private-labeled services using Sprint's infrastructure. AT&T has been out of the wireless business since it spun off AT&T Wireless, which recently was acquired by Cingular Wireless.

So-called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like ESPN and AT&T set their own rates, use phones of their own choosing and offer specific content to their users. The MVNO also is responsible for billing customers.

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
John Abel, Technical Director, Google Cloud
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer