SBJ/November 21 - 27, 2005/Media

ESPN targets NBA as next mobile video deal

With mobile video deals in hand with Major League Baseball and the NHL, ESPN now has its sights set on the NBA.

ESPN wants the NBA to follow the NHL and MLB to its new line of cell phones.
John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president of content, said talks are under way to put NBA highlights and feature content on the ESPN branded line of cell phones, a deal that would supplement the network’s nearly 4-year-old TV deal with the league.

“We’ve always been able to work something out with the NBA, and I’m very hopeful in this instance, too,” Skipper said.

Brenda Spoonemore, senior vice president of interactive services for NBA Entertainment, confirmed that the league has been talking to ESPN regarding mobile rights. Earlier this month, ESPN struck a deal with the NHL to put video highlights on Mobile ESPN, as well as and its broadband service, ESPN 360. That followed an eight-year, $240 million deal with MLB Advanced Media announced last summer.

The NBA is the last of the four major leagues with mobile rights up for grabs, as the NFL entered a five-year, $600 million exclusive deal with Sprint this season. Although ESPN uses Sprint as a service provider for its mobile phones, it does not have access to Sprint’s exclusive NFL content, which includes game highlights. Mobile ESPN will be limited to showing highlights of “Monday Night Football” games that air on ESPN, and only when the games are in progress.

The Mobile ESPN phones are to debut nationally in February. ESPN projects a subscriber base of at least 200,000 by the end of 2006.

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug