After years of working exclusively through AT&T and Verizon, FLO TV is venturing out on its own. Today, the company said it would be launching independent, direct-to-consumer services for the first time with a handheld mobile television and an expanded device ecosystem.
“We have offered the award-winning FLO TV service on a variety of handsets through our carrier and OEM partners, and we plan to continue working with them to expand the FLO TV handset lineup,” said Bill Stone, president of FLO TV, in a statement. “We are also thrilled to be launching the first of FLO TV’s direct-to-consumer offerings with the FLO TV Personal Television.”
FLO TV’s Personal Television device has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and weighs just over 5 ounces. Its battery supports more than five hours of active FLO TV viewing or 300 hours standby. It also features a built-in stand, stereo speakers and the ability to set reminders for users’ favorite programming.
In addition to a handheld mobile television device, FLO TV plans to dramatically expand the variety of devices embedded with its mobile television receiver chip. The company will grow its current lineup of FLO TV-enabled handsets, as well as expanding into more consumer electronics. In addition, FLO TV said it will grow its in-car entertainment offerings beyond its current deal with Audiovox.
Verizon Wireless is also on the move with FLO’s mobile television service, which it white-labels as V CAST. The operator said it would add more than 50 television series this year to its current lineup of about 140 programs. Verizon said it will also bring several live television programs to V CAST and expects to have nearly 100 live sporting events on V CAST Video before the end of the year, including live coverage of this fall’s Big Ten football games.