Qualcomm’s ‘FLO TV’ Mobile TV bound for Apple iPhone

“One reason that Qualcomm’s FLO TVmobile television division has had a slow start: It’s only available on select phones that have a special chip inside them. That’s currently about 9 phones of roughly 100-[million]-plus in the U.S. market — and none of the hot phones, like Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, RIM’s (RIMM) BlackBerry devices, etc.,” Dan Frommer reports for Silicon Alley Insider.

“That will change: FLO TV President Bill Stone tells us his company is planning to offer its mobile TV service as an add-on accessory; not just something that’s built into new phones,” Frommer reports.

“For instance, the new iPhone 3.0 accessory APIs mean that FLO TV could offer a small antenna/chip accessory that plugs into the iPhone or iPod touch, allowing users to watch FLO TV. Stone says it’s something FLO TV is working on, but declined to estimate when it could launch. We expect sometime next year,” Frommer reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Based in San Diego, Calif., FLO TV offers full-length simulcast and time-shifted programming from the world’s best entertainment brands, including CBS, CBS College Sports, CBS News, CNBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, FOX, FOX News, FOX Sports, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, NBC2Go, NBC News, NBC Sports, Nickelodeon and NickToons.

On April 1, FLO TV announced the expansion of its service in 19 markets around the U.S. The expansion extends FLO TV’s coverage for more than 10 million potential new viewers ahead of the June 12 final date for the DTV transition and is a precursor to FLO TV’s nationwide expansion to reach more than 200 million consumers in 100 U.S. markets by the end of 2009.

Following this most recent growth phase, FLO TV’s service now covers previously unserved portions of 16 existing markets and provides coverage for the first time in three new markets: Atlantic City, N.J.; Greensboro, N.C. and Wilmington, Del. The expansion is the result of approvals obtained from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ahead of the DTV transition.

“FLO TV’s best-in-class, live mobile TV service has taken a significant step toward reaching our goal of nationwide coverage,” said Bill Stone, president of FLO TV, in the press release. “FLO TV is at the forefront of the mobile TV revolution, and we will continue to drive the growth of the category.”

Existing service markets that are receiving enhanced coverage include: Austin, Texas; Baltimore/Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; the greater Los Angeles area; New York City; Oklahoma City; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Reading, Pa.; San Antonio and St. Louis.

Underscoring the momentum for mobile television, industry analysts have projected that mobile TV viewership in North America will grow from an estimated 12.7 million users in 2009 to more than 93 million users by 2013. These findings align with survey results issued today by Harris Interactive and FLO TV demonstrating that U.S. consumers currently watching mobile TV are 43 percent more likely to watch on a cell phone today than they were the previous year. The survey, which queried more than 2,000 adults, yielded other key findings reflecting consumers’ interest in mobile TV:

• 62 percent said they watch, or would watch, mobile TV while traveling
• 41 percent say they watch, or would watch, while commuting between home and work
• 45 percent of respondents who watch, or would watch, mobile TV do so because they want to be entertained

The appeal of FLO TV’s live programming is illustrated by a consistent pattern of increased viewership and consumer demand for major sporting and significant news events. On the first day of the 2009 men’s college basketball programming, FLO TV experienced a 48 percent increase in the average minutes per user from the month before, and basketball programming captured nearly 40 percent of the viewing minutes for that day. FLO TV also experienced viewership increases of 80 percent or more during the Presidential inauguration, the 2008 summer Olympics and the most recent U.S. Open golf championship.

FLO TV is available to AT&T subscribers as AT&T Mobile TV and to Verizon Wireless customers as V CAST Mobile TV in 68 markets nationwide.

AT&T Mobility’s “Mobile TV Basic” costs $15/month which gives users access to 12 channels include: CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, ESPN Mobile TV, FOX Mobile, FOX News, MSNBC, MTV, NBC2Go, Nickelodeon, CNN Mobile and Pix. “Mobile TV Plus” costs $30/month which gives you access to unlimited Mobile Web browsing, video clips, and data usage.

To learn more about FLO TV, please visit www.flotv.com.

Source: FLO TV and AT&T Mobility

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