Disney‘s (NYSE:DIS) ESPN sports network could eventually become a player in the wireless industry.
Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that ESPN has been talking with an unnamed wireless carrier about subsidizing data usage by its mobile viewers. The network is exploring a potential deal that would exempt its streaming content on mobile devices from monthly data caps imposed by the carrier.
Wireless carriers restrict data consumption on their networks on a monthly basis. As video streaming services have grown, however, users who view video across wireless networks find their data usage quickly approaching or exceeding the monthly limit.
In order to keep consumers watching their streamed content, providers like ESPN are looking for ways to mitigate user data overage charges. ESPN hasn’t negotiated a formal deal with any carrier, nor is a deal said to be likely to be announced any time soon.
AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon‘s (NYSE:VZ) Verizon Wireless have already expressed interest in striking such a data usage deal with media companies.
Last week, ESPN announced that it was partnering with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to launch a dedicated network to cover conference games and events.
Shares of Disney climbed almost 1% in Friday trading.