There has been speculation that Qualcomm would cancel FLO TV, its direct-to-consumer media operation, and now the company has finally made it public. Yes, FLO TV will be toast as Qualcomm stops selling new devices to customers and says that FLO programming likely won’t go on after next spring.
Perhaps what’s even sadder is that some folks are going to get laid off because of this decision. Here is a statement by Qualcomm on the matter:
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.
It’s a little sad to see the service go, but somewhat predictable, too, given the ongoing rumors about the service’s demise. Ah, well, here’s to hoping something better comes along.