Disney backing off of ESPN MVNO?

During Walt Disney Company's Q3 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger addressed analysts' concerns over the financial sustainability of ESPN Mobile and hinted the service may not continue as an MVNO: "Our investment in '06 was approximately $150 million. We're not going to get specific at all about '07. What we know is that ESPN works on the platform in that the product itself and the experience for the consumer is quite positive. So ESPN's presence in mobile platforms is a given into the future…Under what circumstance or in what model, it's really too soon to tell. We're going to continue to evaluate this very carefully. I'm not going to get specific in terms of the timing of a decision or what factors we have to see, but I will say again that the results, at least initially, even though it's only been six months, were disappointing and we're monitoring this carefully."

Also during the Q&A, Iger reiterated some of the issues the company is working on: "We launched this, it's only about six months old. There are issues that we had to deal with in terms of our retail strategy, our overall marketing approach, our pricing approach, as well as the quality of the handset."

For more on Disney possibly pulling the plug on ESPN Mobile:
- see this transcript from SeekingAlpha

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