Despite a ton of hype
from its backers over the years, there's been very little
interest in mobile TV services -- especially with the current subscription-based model
. AT&T launched its mobile TV offering using Qualcomm's MediaFLO service last year, and given the lack of news about it, it doesn't seem to have set the world on fire. But AT&T doesn't seem to have learned too much from that experience and adapted its business model to a new satellite-based mobile TV offering that's made for in-car use, preferring instead to trod the same path with a sizable monthly service fee and expensive equipment. For just $1299 for the equipment (not including professional installation) and $28 per month
, its CruiseCast service will deliver customers 22 channels of TV and 20 audio channels. Even if these weren't trying economic times, the pricing seems pretty prohibitive, and it's hard to imagine this service will find much more success than other similar efforts. Further, it's really difficult to see a future for any sort of mobile TV service that's built around the subscription model, especially when it tries to force customers back into linear programming schedules, and give up the control that their DVRs and other on-demand technologies offer.