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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Satellite TV on each airline seat (maybe your baseball)--NY Times

“This is the reason I travel with JetBlue,” said Adams, who watched Ohio State prevail in the Round of 8. “It’s better than whatever foolish movie they usually have on planes.”

  • JetBlue, which offers 36 channels of DirecTV, said ESPN consistently ranked among the three most-watched channels. On Frontier, where customers pay $5 to use a 24-channel system, ESPN is the most-watched station by far."
***I believe Jet Blue and others also carry XM Satellite Radio, which carries all MLB REGULAR SEASON games...*** (sm)
  • "JetBlue was the first airline to offer live satellite television; when the airline started in 2000, all of its planes had small, seatback screens. In 2002, it acquired LiveTV, which installs seatback televisions and equips planes with satellite systems. Frontier purchased its systems from LiveTV, and as of 2005, all its airplanes were equipped with televisions. On Delta, Dish Network satellite television is available only on cross-country flights from Kennedy.

Airlines must negotiate the specific set of satellite TV channels they want to carry. Sometimes sporting events are not included in their channel range, so the airline can try to work out a special arrangement. Frontier has done this for several years to allow passengers to watch the Super Bowl.

“On that one day a year, we negotiate with DirecTV and LiveTV to basically replace a channel with the station broadcasting the Super Bowl,” said Joe Hodas, a spokesman for Frontier, which has not made such an arrangement for the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament or the World Series."

  • (Article notes Jet Blue carries CBS, so you could view NCAA basketball. I note, I wonder why no agreement has been reached for the World Series? I guess "Bud" is tied up with more glamorous opportunities for himself). sm

"But there is at least one downside to watching a live game on a plane. When it arrives at its destination, the TV screens may be turned off at exactly the wrong moment. Hodas, the Frontier spokesman, said he heard about this from Frontier’s chief executive.

“The year before last, Jeff Potter, our C.E.O., was on the plane the evening of the Super Bowl,” Hodas said. “They pulled into the gate with three or four minutes left in the game. No one wanted to get off the plane, so Jeff went up to the captain and said, ‘Let’s just sit until the game’s over.’ The captain made the announcement, and Jeff, along with everyone else, sat there and watched the end of the game.”"

From NY Times article, "Satellite TV Creates Sports Bar in the Sky," 3/28/07, by Kate Torgovnick. requires cookies

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