Qualcomm to cut FLO TV prices in half

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Is streaming content forcing Qualcomm to drive down pricing on FLO TV?

Qualcomm’s FLO TV unit intends to cut pricing down half of what its carriers are charging for now. FLO now has 10 program feeds which include the following: MSNBC, MTV, ESPN Mobile, Comedy Central, CNBC, Fox News, Nickelodeon, CBS Mobile, NBC Mobile and NBC 2Go. AT&T and Verizon both charge around $25 to $30 a month, which Qualcomm has never set a retail price for. Later this year, Qualcomm plans to start selling FLO TV services directly to consumers packaged in month-to-month subscriptions around the $10 a month range.

Notable quotes from the New York Times article:

Bill Stone, who Qualcomm hired earlier this year to run its Flo TV business, said that the service has been too expensive.

“My view is that is shooting over the heads of the market,” Mr. Stone said.

Mr. Stone would not discuss how many subscribers had signed up for Flo. He noted that the recent switch from analog to digital television allowed Qualcomm to start using some spectrum it had bought on what used to be UHF channel 55. That increased its coverage to about 200 million people from about 150 million people, and it increased its signal strength in some of the areas it already served. Qualcomm had bought unused broadcast television licenses to start its service even before the digital TV transition.

Mr. Stone said that over time Flo would add more interactive and on-demand features.

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