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ESPN bails out of MVNO space

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) ESPN Mobile has called it a day, after failing to get a strong enough foothold in the US market.

The service provider, which some analysts said was one of the most promising MVNO launches of the last year, targeted a specific market with unique sporting content. But the operator appears to have fallen short of its targets.

“It’s more of a case of being overambitious than failing – it would have been very hard to succeed without a very low cost base,” said Julie Ask, an analyst with Jupiter Research. “It’s better to exit than stubbornly pour more money into an operation and business model with so many challenges,” she added.

The MVNO operation will close its doors at year-end, but also said it would announce details of a premium content service to be made available via a nationwide carrier.

“I’m sure they have learned a lot from the experience and will benefit as they sell their content to other carriers with a larger subscriber base,” Ask said.

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