ESPN, Sprint Dial Up Wireless Plan

NEW YORK ESPN and Sprint said today they will launch ESPN Mobile-branded wireless phone service in 2005.

This is the first in a series of branded cell-phone services planned by ESPN parent company Walt Disney, which already offers such branded consumer electronics as computers, TVs, digital cameras and DVD players.

The service will use the enhanced Sprint nationwide PCS network. It will include ESPN-branded handsets, accessories and applications, including access to sports headlines, photos, ring tones and streaming audio and video over Sprint’s high-speed data network.

Marketing is expected to support, but specifics were not revealed. Financial terms were not discussed.

“This enhances our mandate to serve fans anytime, anywhere, and Sprint’s leadership in this medium will help lay the foundation for our success,” said George Bodenheimer, president of Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN, in a statement.

—Brandweek staff report