AT&T's MediaFlo Mobile TV Service To Launch Next Week; Pricing Will Make It DOA

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
AT&T (NYSE: T) Wireless will finally launch its much delayed mobile TV broadcasting service next week, and it has made all the necessary moves to make sure it never really takes off, including high end pricing of the service and limited handsets. It is being run on Qualcomm's (NSDQ: QCOM) MediaFlo network, the same one used by the still-underwhelming service by Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Wireless.

The details, culled from this WSJ story:
-- Available in 58 markets, including most big cities,
-- Programming from major TV networks, including CBS (NYSE: CBS), Comedy Central, NBC and Fox, with some simulcast of what's on TV, and a little more than half will be delayed from the TV airtime. T
-- The lineup of 150 programs includes popular shows such as CBS's "CSI" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
-- AT&T will have exclusive mobile rights to CNN content. Also, it will have a movie channel called PIX, from Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures Television.
-- Some more feature sets are described in this RCR story.

Then the pricing, which will cap the expansion of the still very-nascent market: only two new AT&T handsets, including LG Electronics' (SEO: 066570) Vu, which has a large touchscreen, will sell for $300 with a two-year service contract and a mail-in rebate. The Samsung Access will be $200. In addition, the starter TV package is $15 a month for unlimited access to TV. A $30-a-month plan adds additional features, including Web browsing. This is all on top of the voice and data plans. Yep, killer and content.

By Rafat Ali