The Walt Disney Co. will spend about $30 million to shut down its Mobile ESPN wireless telephone services, but remains excited about its family-oriented Disney Mobile phone service, Disney Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs said on Monday.
Staggs told analysts on a conference call that Disney would write down the ESPN termination costs mainly in fiscal 2007.
The company announced last week it would shut down its Mobile ESPN phone operation and license the brand to existing mobile providers.
Disney launched Disney Mobile, a similar service aimed at families in June in the United States.
The company had discussed rolling out Disney Mobile in the United Kingdom by year's end, but postponed those plans due to what it described as the rapidly changing environment in the UK market.
Staggs said on Monday the company believed Disney Mobile is a very different customer proposition that was meeting a fundamental need of families.
Disney Mobile allows parents to regulate when, how long and to whom their children talk on cell phones and features a built-in satellite tracking feature to locate the phone.
We remain excited about Disney Mobile service. It has been getting a lot of kudos from a lot of parents, Staggs said. They've just really soft launched it so it's early days yet.
Mobile ESPN, launched in February on the Sprint network with a 60-second Super Bowl commercial, offered real-time sports content on a specially designed Sanyo handset, but failed to catch on with sports fans.
Disney shares closed down 1.2 percent, or 38 cents, at $30.53 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.