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Disney, ABC Embraces FLO TV



sg_abcWhen I was a wee lad, I used to think having a portable television was awesome, or using the vernacular of the day, “totally wicked.” I used to imagine sitting in class and watching daytime shows like The Price is Right or reruns of Leave it to Beaver. Being a kid I didn’t have much of a cash flow so I never purchased one of those gadgets nor did the portable televisions really catch on. Maybe it was a timing issue. Now, with more people on the go, perhaps mobile TV content can finally make its breakthrough. But is it something consumers have a need for?

Disney Channel and ABC are embracing FLO TV, the leader in hand-held televisions from Qualcomm. With ABC now attached, the company can claim that four of the major broadcasters have now virtually endorsed this product.

Launched in 2007, FLO TV is on Verizon and now on AT&T. NBC ToGo, CBS Mobile and Fox Mobile always have been part of the core offering, which ABC Mobile now joins. Disney isn’t new to FLO TV. Their ESPN Mobile TV was already was a part of the service.

The service, which comes in several consumer packages involving different carriers and mobile devices, costs customers a minimum of $8 a month.

The deal, set to be announced Tuesday, includes the mobilized feed of ABC and a simulcast of the Disney Channel. Reruns will air in place of the occasional third-party movie where mobile rights haven’t been secured.

Qualcomm doesn’t reveal details of the financial relationships it has with the Big Four networks (CBS, NBC, Fox and now ABC), but “there are parallels you can draw between our deals and affiliate deals,” said Jonathan Barzilay, senior vice president of programming and advertising at FLO TV.

With ABC and Disney Channel, FLO TV’s core offering expands to a robust 17 channels; AT&T Mobile Television and Verizon V Cast offer an additional couple of exclusive channels for their basic products.

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