A follow up on Sprint and the ESPN text alerts tiff: Sprint's issued a statement about exactly what's going on, confirming that it was, in fact, ESPN that cut off the service in response to a Sprint fee. Here is Sprint's statement, in its entirety:
As many of you have noticed, ESPN SMS text alerts are no longer available to Sprint customers. This is not an action that Sprint took directly but we believe it is due to a fee Sprint charges aggregators for text messaging programs such as the ESPN alerts. This fee is a cost recovery measure designed to allow Sprint to continue to support the billions of text messages that businesses like ESPN send each year as part of mobile marketing campaigns, alerts, etc. The fee affects commercial use of Sprint’s text messaging platform only and is not charged by Sprint to our customers. We are disappointed ESPN has chosen to discontinue offering free text message alerts to our customers.
Sprint has made no changes to the way text messages are delivered to our customers. Sprint customers continue to enjoy unlimited messaging included in Everything Messaging and Everything Data plans.
While text alerts are no longer available, you can still get ESPN content on your Sprint device, for example by visiting the ESPN Mobile website available through the mobile Web on all Sprint data-enabled phones, downloading the ESPN ScoreCenter app for Android phones, or installing ESPN ID Pack available on Sprint ID-capable phones.
Just as we figured, indeed it's a money thing. But at least Sprint's being up front about it. [Sprint]