ESPN Could Help Pay Your Mobile Bill

Content providers consider subsidizing data costs

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 10, 2013 2:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sick of worrying about staying within your data limits? ESPN is considering helping you out. The channel has discussed the possibility of subsidizing users' data plans with at least one top wireless carrier, the Wall Street Journal reports. For users, the result could be that ESPN usage wouldn't factor into monthly limits. For its part, Verizon says it's considering having content providers or advertisers fund data usage; AT&T says it's "actively exploring" the idea.

The discussions come as data usage soars, with 41 million Americans viewing video for an average of five hours and 23 minutes a month in fourth-quarter figures, compared to 33.5 million users at four hours and 54 minutes a year before, the Journal points out. ESPN has seen particular growth in the area, and preventing over-usage could be an advertising boon for the channel. It's not the only media company mulling such a deal—though there are plenty of kinks to be worked out before any plan could go forward, including potential regulatory issues.

ESPN is considering helping pay users' mobile bills.
ESPN is considering helping pay users' mobile bills.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)
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