After 36 hours of radio silence, Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) is finally acknowledging that it is canceling its direct-to-consumer FLO TV operations. The company says in a statement that it is suspending direct to consumer sales of new devices and that it can’t guarantee that current subscribers will receive FLO programming beyond next spring. We reported on Monday morning that staff was informed late last week that the struggling mobile TV service was being shut down.
Qualcomm’s carefully worded statement today leaves open the possibility that the service will be restarted, but if it is not, the company says it will refund customers. Qualcomm says that there will be “some layoffs” because of its decision.
Here’s the company’s complete statement:
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.