ESPN Wants to Pay Your Wireless Bill (Restrictions Apply)

The sports behemoth could be shaking up the wireless industry
Photograph by Nico De Pasquale/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that ESPN has talked with at least one wireless carrier about subsidizing customer data plans for their consumption of the company’s sports content. Think of it as lettuce growers paying the Olive Garden to keep the bottomless salads coming. ESPN doesn’t want its 45 million (and counting) digital users to stop watching on their iPads because they’re afraid of overage charges now that most major carriers are moving to capped data plans. “It makes it a worry-free, guilty pleasure,” says Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. (ESPN declined to comment.)

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