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ESPN to use Sanyo handsets for mobile video service

Sports broadcaster ESPN revealed details of a long-planned mobile phone service last week, announcing that it would use Sanyo handsets to launch the service by the end of the year.

Mobile ESPN, in the works for nearly a year, will deliver sports scores, audio and video clips, and headlines to subscribers via their cell phones, CNET News reported. Walt Disney's ESPN first unveiled plans for the service last year, announcing it would work with Sprint to develop it.

As the first handset partner for Mobile ESPN, Sanyo said it would produce an MVP phone that can deliver video, audio and text at high speeds. The phone will also feature a high-resolution display, a 1.3-megapixel digital camera, a video and voice recorder, and an MP3 music player.

The phone and the Mobile ESPN service will be available online in limited quantities by the end of the year. The company is planning for a national retail launch on Feb. 5.

The phone uses new Sprint technology that will provide broadband-like speeds, and will offer Internet browsing and e-mail access. ESPN is tapping West Corp., a customer service specialist, to assist with purchasing, phone activation, billing and other customer service matters.

Walt Disney and Sprint are developing another wireless service, called Disney Mobile, aimed at distributing family entertainment via mobile phones. The availability of that service is expected sometime next year.

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