FLO TV killing direct-to-consumer programming in spring 2011, will make necessary refunds

Don't say we never gave you a heads-up on anything. 24 hours (give or take a few minutes) after we punched the final nail into FLO TV's direct-to-consumer coffin, Qualcomm itself has issued a brief but pointed statement regarding the tragically doomed service. The major line is this: "We are suspending our direct to consumer sales of new devices." If you just so happen to already own one, you can look forward to service continuing through the Spring of 2011, after which you'll be up a certain creek without any sort of steering apparatus. In the event of a discontinuance of service, FLO TV will make appropriate refunds, but the details surrounding that won't be communicated until that fateful day draws nearer. We're also told that MediaFLO service (provided to handsets via carrier partnerships) will continue on unaffected, and it sounds as if the company has plans to attach its service to tablets in the future. The worst news of all? Qualcomm's working to redeploy impacted employees, but it does "anticipate that there will be some layoffs." The statement can be seen in its entirety after the break.

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Statement From Qualcomm Regarding FLO TV

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 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.

"Except for the historical information contained herein, this release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the Company's ability to successfully pursue, enter into and consummate strategic opportunities, on satisfactory terms, relating to the FLO TV network and the associated spectrum, the duration that the FLO TV network will be maintained for current direct to consumer subscribers, the duration for which FLO TV service will be maintained for handsets purchased through wireless operators, the nature of and the terms and conditions associated with any refund policy to affected consumers, the nature and extent of any layoffs, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 27, 2009, and most recent Form 10-Q. The Company undertakes no obligation to update, or continue to provide information with respect to, any forward-looking statement or risk, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise."