Not a shocker here. We're seeing the first high-flying casualty of the MVNO space. Mobile ESPN, backed by Disney, announced today that it is closing down operations and instead will be focusing on becoming a bigger content partner to carriers. The bottom line: Despite ESPN being one of the most well-known brands around, consumers didn't want to buy an ESPN-branded phone to access ESPN content. Will Disney, which launched an MVNO targeted at families, realize the same fate? Interestingly enough, the big brands that people thought would bring in the customers just don't cut it in the ultra-competitive mobile-phone world. Mobile ESPN teaches that it takes more than a brand.
- How patient will parent companies be with their MVNOs?
- Disney continues to evaluate options for Mobile ESPN
- Merrill Lynch calls for end to Mobile ESPN