Friday, October 8, 2010
Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM
"Qualcomm is shutting down its struggling direct-to-consumer FLO TV operations, paidContent has learned. According to sources familiar with the situation, the staff was informed late last week by Bill Stone, president of MediaFlo and FLO TV, that the mobile TV service will wind down by the end of the year. Founded in 2004, the costly mobile TV venture attracted Verizon and AT&T as distribution partners... [and] launched direct-to-consumer FLO TV in 2008 but... consumers weren't as interested as the company thought in acquiring a separate device and paying a subscription for mobile TV."
Qualcomm's FLO TV service has been distributed by Verizon (VCast Mobile TV), AT&T (Mobile TV), and Chrysler ("Mopar Live, Mobile TV"), and has also been available in a direct-to-consumer version by purchasing Qualcomm's PTV 350 FLO TV Personal Television (upper left, above) - which featured a 3.5" screen and an original list price of $250 (US) - and then paying a monthly service fee of around $10 (US). Sales of the PTV 350 have already been halted, but Qualcomm is now promising that FLO TV service will continue through early 2011. The future of the re-distribution contracts (AT&T, Verizon...) seems to be "up-in-the-air," but while Chrysler has apparently halted sales of the FLO product (it still offers Sirius TV), both AT&T and Verizon are still advertising their mobile TV services. Cannot help but wonder how many people will actually care about this - beyond the handful of people that purchased a FLO PTV 350 device, or, of course, actually work for FLO TV. Have you tried mobile TV (in any format)? Does this type of service seem at all appealing?