FLO TV: A Failure to Entertain

9:15 AM Qualcomm hooks up with Hollywood in hopes of avoiding FLO TV's fate of being boring

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

June 2, 2011

2 Min Read
FLO TV: A Failure to Entertain

9:15 AM -- SAN DIEGO --Uplinq -- Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) learned lessons the hard way with FLO TV, and it's hoping not to make the same mistake again by making its next entertainment venture more fun and exciting. (See FLO TV Alive, But Not Well.)Creative Artists Agency to build the Creative Mobile Labs (CML) and push the boundary of the entertainment experience on mobile.

That goal is the opposite of what it did with FLO TV. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said that the live TV service just wasn't creative or new; it was basically cable TV on your phone. "That's part of the reason the technology failed," he said.

With CML, Qualcomm hopes to connect engineers with more creative developers and the rights to Hollywood stars to create fresh and exciting entertainment on mobile -- things like 3-D games with augmented reality and motion capture on sporting events.

Qualcomm is on the right track in working with the CAA, which represents big name celebrities like Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, but I don't necessarily agree that consumers wanted something new and exciting for mobile TV. They just didn't want to pay extra for it. (See Can Apple Save Mobile TV?)

Mobile TV needs to be a service that replicates cable TV, doesn't cost much extra and, most importantly, works well. For other games and apps on mobile, the fancier and fresher, the better.

Qualcomm is putting all its best moves on developers, but this time as an enabler, not as the service provider. And CAA's star power will help. I'm excited to see what they come up with together.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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