Disney Yanks UK MVNO Plans

Following comments during last week’s quarterly earnings call that called into question ESPN’s future as an MVNO, Disney has announced that it’s cancelled its plans for Disney Mobile in the UK. The party line is “the rapidly changing competitive environment” — with a consolidation in potential retailers singled out. No, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, either, and it’s more likely that Disney Mobile’s parent-friendly offerings aren’t striking a chord with US consumers — like ESPN and other content-centered MVNOs. There’s little doubt that brands like ESPN and Disney can create mobile content in which a lot of people are interested. However, it’s highly unlikely that content is compelling enough to lure consumers to another operator, particularly when other factors like pricing and device selection aren’t in their favor. The way to a bigger audience, and bigger revenues is to ditch the virtual operator business, and sell their content to as large an audience as possible.

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