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Qualcomm Adjusting MediaFLO Strategy

At the Mobile Marketing Forum, MediaFLO USA content head Bob Bradley suggested that MediaFLO was not seeing mainstream uptake as a pay TV service. He saw more potential in using the service for temporary channels and for live event coverage.

Consumers' lack of interest in pay mobile TV could influence broadcasters' business plans for ATSC mobile/handheld services.

The lack of interest in pay service does not mean Qualcomm is not giving up on MediaFLO. Indeed, it plans to nearly double the number of MediaFLO markets by the end of 2009.

Temporary channels and live events have been very successful. A Washington Post article quotes Bradley saying, "People are really drawn to the service as a way to connect to live events" and notes viewership increased by 103 percent when MediaFLO aired footage from the 2008 U.S. Open golf championship at Torrey Pines.

Regarding interactivity and ad-targeting, Bradley said, "Our number one priority is really to validate the platform through credible metrics and we're talking to third-party vendors right now. We're only beginning to understand the new marketing opportunities presented by this new innovative approach."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.