In a statement issued 10/6, Qualcomm confirms reports that it is shuttering its mobile TV service – but not as soon as the end of the year. The company also confirmed it is suspending DTC sales to consumers. Bill Stone, president of MediaFlo and FLO TV, reportedly told staffers last week the service will wind down by the end of the year. In July, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs told investors Qualcomm was exploring options. Qualcomm was looking to sell or find a partner for its FLO TV mobile television business in the U.S.
From the statement: “As we previously indicated in our July 2010 earnings call, we have been examining strategic opportunities for FLO TV. We have been engaging in conversations with a wide range of partners for both the network and the spectrum. We are seeing strong interest in using the FLO TV network or spectrum to capitalize on the growing imbalance between mobile data supply and demand, the growth of tablets, and consumer demand for high quality video and print content, and a richer user experience. While this process continues, we are suspending our direct to consumer sales of new devices. We anticipate we will maintain the network so that current direct to consumer subscribers will continue to receive FLO programming into Spring 2011. Service provided to handsets purchased through wireless operators is unaffected at this time. In the event of a discontinuance of service, FLO TV will make appropriate refunds, the details of which will be communicated prior to discontinuation. While we are working to redeploy impacted employees, we anticipate that there will be some layoffs.”