ESPN wants to pay for the data you use while viewing its sites

ESPN wants to pay for the data you use while viewing its sites
A published report on Thursday said that Disney owned cable sports giant ESPN has been in talks with at least one major carrier, possibly Verizon, to subsidize the cost to mobile viewers of watching ESPN programming over a smartphone or tablet. The report added that ESPN is trying to work out a deal in which the data spent watching the all-sports cable network on a mobile device would not count against the amount of data consumed by the carrier's customers.  Over the last three years, the daily number of ESPN viewers on a mobile device has more than tripled from 3.2 million to 10.3 million so far this year.

This could kick off a whole new model that would shift the cost for using apps and viewing content that consumes plenty of data, from the device owner to the content provider. Besides paying carriers to subsidize the cost to consumers of watching their programming, these content providers could also promise to share some advertising dollars with the mobile operators.

Earlier in the week, Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said that the nation's largest carrier was looking at deals where content providers or advertisers would be responsible for paying for the data cost instead of consumers. AT&T also indicated an interest in such a model, calling it the same as toll-free calling. And with the average mobile subscriber using .659GB of data each month in Q4 of 2012, there is no room to go but up.

Research firm Nielsen said that during the fourth quarter of 2012, 41 million Americans were watching video on a mobile phone each month in the period, and were averaging five hours and 23 minutes of usage per person per month. The year before, there were 33.5 million viewers watching video on their mobile phone for an average of and four hours and 54 minutes each month during the quarter. As more and more people trade up to more capable phones, these numbers will continue to rise.

source: WSJ

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6 Comments

1. AnTuTu

Posts: 1592; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

I wish all the ISPs think the same way :P

2. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Hmmm, that's a nice set-up. Everybody happy. They might be on to something.

4. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Everybody happy? Don't think so. You'll now see more revenue for Verizon (as an example). No changes to the data plans for consumers - which suck, horribly. Providers will continue to charge us the same, while now have an extra revenue source. I was hoping that as streaming becomes more prevalent, providers would have to make changes to allow for more data and/or reduce costs. This is a way for providers to NOT do either, and make more money.

6. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

No changes to the data plans yes, but for people who watch ESPN a lot (including me) this is great. Free ESPN streaming? Come'on how can that be bad?

3. ronjr123

Posts: 88; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Just more exclusive carrier deals and bloatware. I don't know if I would like that model.

5. scsa852k

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

Watch ESPN app is a piece of crap anyways. you can't view a single channel without any buffering or interruptions even on a Wi-Fi network with download speed of 30 Mbps.

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