03.06.2007 08:00 AM
Mobile ESPN is back on Verizon Wireless

Mobile ESPN, subject of a high-profile shutdown last year, is relaunching its mobile sports service through Verizon Wireless, a mobile phone provider. Verizon Wireless already made some of the programming available last week, as part of a selected pre-launch of the V CAST mobile television service in several markets.

The companies recently announced a multiyear agreement providing Verizon Wireless the rights to offer the Mobile ESPN application on its V CAST phones.

Also announced was a broadcast TV service for Verizon cell phones that will feature an ESPN channel with much of the same programming being shown on its sports cable networks. Verizon expects to offer the service over MediaFLO — a separate wireless network developed by QUALCOMM that can broadcast up to 20 TV channels — in at least one market by the end of March.

The Mobile ESPN service, expected to launch in the coming months, is to be included free as part of the $15 a month or $3 a day charge for V CAST's assorted multimedia offerings, the Associated Press reported.

The first Mobile ESPN venture, launched in late 2005 by parent company Walt Disney, reportedly signed up less than 30,000 customers. The companies declined to disclose the financial terms or exact length of the deal, though one executive told AP that a multiyear arrangement is lengthier than a typical wireless content agreement.

Mobile ESPN offers real-time scoring updates, video highlights, short newscasts and news alerts. Many features can be customized around a user's favorite sport teams. Participants in ESPN.com fantasy sports will be able to manage their teams via cell phone.

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