Mobile ESPN Phone Has Less Than 10,000 Subscribers

mobile_espn_phone.jpgSports fans, when was the last time you checked a score on your cell phone? Us neither. It seems ESPN’s much-hyped mobile sports phone is causing a headache for the company.

As Deadspin points out, today’s Wall Street Journal story on struggling cellphone startups includes this little nugget:

Mobile ESPN’s model doesn’t appear to be winning over consumers. The start-up, which was launched in February, had signed up fewer than 10,000 customers through May, according to people familiar with the situation. Robert Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said on the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call that initial sales from Mobile ESPN were “lower than hoped.”

MTV’s Amp’d Mobile, too, is bottom-feeding, according to the Journal. But perhaps not as desperately as ESPN phone venture, which “will likely result in losses for Disney that may run into the tens of millions of dollars, this person says.” Sports Business Daily had previously reported ESPN’s early loss at $25 million.

Also, we’d love to know what percentage of ESPN staffers even use the phone.

Cellphone Start-Ups Struggle As Media Services Fail to Catch On [WSJ]