Qualcomm cancels consumer-direct FLO TVBy Emil Protalinski
Qualcomm's streaming TV service, FLO TV, is getting the axe by the end of the year, according to PaidContent. The staff was informed late last week by Bill Stone, president of MediaFlo and FLO TV. The FLO TV store is currently offline.
The direct-to-consumers service is offered via AT&T and Verizon, so Qualcomm is currently discussing with the duo what will happen to the white-label services it offers each carrier. Even if the service has not succeeded, it's not a total loss if we remember that the spectrum itself is worth almost $2 billion based on the latest spectrum auction.
FLO has the major broadcast networks on board, including CNN, ESPN, Discovery, and so on. The technology's biggest problems, however, are limited availability on devices and an inability to achieve full distribution. Qualcomm has found out that mobile users are apparently less interested in episodic viewing compared to snacking on content when they're mobile and viewing videos, with a possible exception being live sports.
Qualcomm has been unsatisfied with FLO TV for a while now; back in July the company was in early stage discussions with potential buyers for the service. Apparently those didn't work out, leaving Qualcomm to look at other potential uses for the technology, including one called data-casting, described as a way to maintain cached data on mobile devices to shift loading away from the regular networks.