FLO TV Hopes To Woo World Cup Fans

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Qualcomm's FLO TV subsidiary will offer mobile subscribers all 64 of ESPN's matches from the 2010 FIFA World Cup live from South Africa on FLO TV devices and handsets compatible with AT&T's Mobile TV service.

Verizon Wireless' V Cast Mobile TV will carry 56 of the matches through ESPN Mobile on FLO TV, while FLO TV and AT&T in addition to offering ESPN Mobile are offering a dedicated World Cup channel to provide eight additional simultaneous matches. The World Cup runs June 11 to July 11.

To push the soccer angle, the company recently debuted a national advertising and retail marketing campaign featuring U.S. men's national team midfielder Landon Donovan, purportedly a "FLO TV addict" who is seen practicing and performing fancy footwork all while holding a FLO TV Personal Television.

However, despite such promotional efforts -- which included running a 30-second Super Bowl spot -- FLO TV has struggled to gain traction.

For the six months that ended March 28, 2010, FLO TV subsidiary had $4 million in revenue compared with $13 million for the same six-month period a year earlier. The decrease in FLO TV revenues was primarily due to an increase in customer-related incentives that were recorded as reductions in revenues, according to Qualcomm's most recent quarterly 10-Q filing. Assets related to the FLO TV business totaled $1.3 billion as of March 28.

Qualcomm does not disclose how many subscribers FLO TV has signed up. The unit offers a direct-to-consumer service as well as through partners such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

The FLO TV service offers full-length programming on more than a dozen channels, including ABC Mobile, Adult Swim Mobile, CBS, CNBC, CNN Mobile, Comedy Central, Sony's Crackle, Disney Channel, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile, Fox News Channel, MNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go, Nickelodeon and UFC.

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