Flo TV Targets Cars For Mobile Video

Putting the service into automobiles could be a key step in driving mobile television adoption in the U.S.

Marin Perez, Contributor

September 18, 2009

2 Min Read

In a potential boost for the adoption of mobile television services, Flo TV said it has signed a deal with Audiovox that could get its service in more than 12,000 new car dealers in 85 markets.

The Flo TV Auto Entertainment system will use the company's nationwide network to deliver live television to vehicles. The system is compatible with nearly any model of vehicle, and it can be retrofitted with in-car entertainment systems that exist in approximately 23 million U.S. vehicles. The service will require a prepaid subscription for one to three years, and will cost around $10 a month depending on the length of the agreement.

"The market for live mobile TV is growing, with tens of millions of U.S. vehicles already equipped with a variety of mobile video entertainment systems," said Bill Store, president of Flo TV. "Flo TV Auto Entertainment can provide consumers with the ideal combination of affordable and high-quality service to give them a home-like viewing experience in their automobiles."

Mobile television has long been popular in markets such as Japan and Korea, but the service has yet to substantially take off in the United States despite multiple services from Flo TV, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless. Getting the service into cars could be a key step in driving adoption in the United States because vehicles in the U.S. are used more for commuting than in other markets.

The distribution deal could be a key driver for Flo TV, but it may have some competition in its rear-view mirror as the Open Mobile Video Coalition is trying to push a free, over-the-air digital television standard across the country. There are currently no devices that can use the OMVC's standard, but the coalition is seeking compatibility with future laptops, phones, gaming systems, and in-car entertainment units.

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