Unlimited ESPN on your Smartphone/Tablet?
Several months ago, there was a discussion in the comments of the Confidential regarding the profitability of broadcasting sports over the internet. Specifically that conferences who rely solely on airing sports content on TV via cable subscriptions, cough**B1G**cough, may be selling themselves short as more-and-more viewers are ditching the big screen for their handheld devices.
It seems that ESPN may be exploring the same topic. ESPN has been at the forefront for developing the infrastructure for watching content over the internet, with the creation of ESPN3 (nee ESPN360) as well as the development of the ESPN App which allows you to watch live games on your handheld device.
But, this becomes problematic as more-and-more carriers are no longer allowing unlimited data packages on your phone.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that ESPN is in talks with a major carrier (Verizon) to subsidize unlimited ESPN content on your phone/tablet. So, you can watch a 6-OT game (Hi, UConn!) on your phone and not have to worry about going over your allowable data for the month.
This paves the way for additional revenue for ESPN from advertisers that want to know more-and-more about individual user preferences, and ultimately back to the conferences they support such as the ACC.
So what do you think? Do you like the idea of ESPN subsidizing data? Do you think this model will ultimately replace the cable-subscription model that is currently lining the pockets of the other conferences? Leave your thoughts and comments below.