Could Twitter + Mobile Phones Kill ESPN?

August 18, 2011

Editor’s note: Here is a sneak preview of the new site we have been working on here at Sidecut Labs, something we call Mobile Sports Report. It is a work in progress but one whose time has come… stay tuned!

Seeing the news today about ESPN teaming up with Foursquare to provide a platform for fans at events is evidence that The Mother Ship of sports is doing all it can to keep astride of the latest trends. But as our purposely provacative headline asks, is there a new “broadcast” paradigm emerging that could allow Twitter and fans on mobile phones to become the dominant method of disseminating sports news, opinions and information?

Before you dismiss the idea as crazy, remember that when ESPN debuted in 1979 it was seen as a place where you could watch Australian Rules football and exercise videos. Nobody at the time was guessing that ESPN would eventually replace the major networks or newspapers atop the sports-media scene, but some 30-plus years later that has come to pass.

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WiMax + TV Everywhere = Comcast Customer Retention Plan

July 1, 2009

There’s no official company link between the two ideas, but it’s hard to miss the obvious “customer retention plan” Comcast is crafting with its experiments in WiMax wireless services and its TV Everywhere content-on-the-Internet test. By allowing paying customers to view cable content anywhere on the web — and by giving them a low-cost, fast and mobile way to do so — Comcast is building the blocks of an entertainment-option package that will be tough to beat.

At the very least, Comcast should be able to keep a big part of its existing customer base happy simply by helping them view the content they already pay for in more places at more times. And if those customers decide sticking with Comcast for mobile broadband is better than spending more dough on an AT&T 3G card, that’s another feather in the competitive cap.

I’d be willing to wager a pint that most people who remain cable customers do so because they are generally happy (or simply resigned) to paying a certain amount each month for a wide assortment of couch-potato entertainment that’s easy to find. They may be aware of new technology and Internet TV, but when push comes to shove they just pay the cable bill, kick back and grab the clicker.

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