On Wednesday, Mobile ESPN announced that it would now offer live and complete football games for viewing on mobile phones.
The service will offer subscribers up to 25 games per month from ESPN and ESPN2, starting with Florida State vs. Miami on September 4, and will run throughout the 2006 college football season. The games also will be shown on air and on the ESPN360 broadband channel.
Only Mobile ESPN customers who opt for the Total Sports Package tier will get the games, which are included in the price and can be accessed with one touch from the service’s “Sideline” on-screen menu. The Total Sports Package costs $25 a month in addition to the subscriber’s choice of plans that start at $40.
All Mobile ESPN plans come with text alerts, real-time scores and news, ESPN.com Fantasy Manager and other features targeting the sports enthusiast.
“When we negotiate the rights to broadcast the games, it’s no longer just about normal television,” said Rebecca Gertsmark, Mobile ESPN spokeswoman. “We’re putting an increased focus on wireless, broadband and mobile technology.”
Fans so far have not been very excited about Mobile ESPN, which formally released in the U.S. in February. So has the Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger, who said in May that sales had been “lower than hoped.” This move by Mobile ESPN is a first in the U.S. to boost its otherwise struggling market.
Mobile ESPN wireless network voice and data services are offered on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and can utilize Sprint’s EVDO wireless high-speed data network wherever it’s available.