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Dean Collins
Hi Shelly, I love your emails so get to your blog semi occasionally and most of the time your thoughts are spot on.....this time however bzzzzzz - wrong. All of the existing methodologies carrier pigeon, smoke signals etc are there to solve a demand. These technologies are inferior to espn mobile tv in most instances, except on specific information formats that sms provide a specific solution for. There are reasons why sports addicts are throwing huge volumes of business towards these info ‘services’. They are the same reasons why mobile tv would have taken off. Now on to espn mobile tv specifically………who invests $150m and pulls the plug in under a year? If my customers are tied to 12 – 24 month contracts with their existing providers do I really expect all of them to come over in under 6 months? WTF? Is all I have to say. There are reasons why espn mobile tv failed and unfortunately it has nothing to do with bad product but bad management and unrealistic time frames. Regards, Dean Collins Cognation dean@cognation.net
Howard Koval
Hello Shelly, I too enjoy reading your newsletters but, have to agree with Dean. ESPN had lots vested in their mobile phone service. And, it was a damn good one too. ESPN has been providing sports information services across all platforms for many, many years. ESPN Mobile was planned to be the epitomy of it all. To pull the plug on it in under one year is purely rediculous. Over time ESPN would hone their marketing and the offering itself. I see the biggest obstacles and barriers to consumer adoption of ESPN's mobile service as: 1) the pre-existing mobile phone contracts and the associated early termination fees that apply to cancelling and switching to ESPN. 2) this particular consumer segment (early adopter, sports fanatics) more than likely recently purchased ("invested in") a new next-gen device itself ($250-$500). Before pulling the plug on the initiative as a whole, ESPN should consider offering a program where "ESPN will pay your cancellation fees for you" and "trade in your existing phone device and we'll credit you $xxx (and donate or re-market the old ones)" ... or, "we'll give you our slickest device for free". In the long run, this would pay off. I think ESPNs service is a great one, one of the best valued-packed MVNO offerings along with Amp'd Mobile. I'm sure the problems with ESPN Mobile did not start with the product, the service, the management, the reach of their messaging ... I believe it all stemmed from the research planning stage, feasibility testing, focus groups etc. I believe this is a case of poor market research and pre-planning. Now, to turn on $150 million dollars in 9 months is rediculous. Shelly, looking forward to reading more. Best, Howard Koval, Managing Partner, Executive Producer; Hit Start Howard@Hit-Start.com.
Shabbir H
Shelly, you have done a good job in this review. Kudos! -Shabs

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