Cable channels take flight on personal WiFi devices


A suite of information services bringing together channels offering mainstream news, business news and sports information, is being offered to airline passengers with smart phones, laptops and tablet devices. Take-off is scheduled for 1/2/12.

The service comes from Row 44 Inc. as part of its In-Flight Broadband Entertainment Platform, and is being launched in partnership with BBC World News and Bloomberg Television.

The news package includes FOX News Channel, MSNBC and BBC World News; the business package includes CNBC, FOX Business Network and Bloomberg Television; and the sports package offers VERSUS, which is soon to be re-branded as NBC Sports Network.

Howard Lefkowitz, Row 44’s Chief Commercial Officer, said, “Whether it’s the latest news updates, sports scores or live sporting events, checking in with the financial markets, or political talk across the spectrum and around the world, Row 44’s live television service demonstrates our ongoing commitment to a broadband entertainment platform that creates an enjoyable experience for every air traveler and new incremental revenue opportunities for our airline partners.”

Row 44 customer Southwest Airlines added, “Row 44 is a great partner for Southwest, and we are excited about the live television product inclusion in the Row 44 platform,” said Dave Ridley, Southwest’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Southwest looks forward to offering this content onboard our Wi-Fi enabled aircraft later this year.”

RBR-TVBR observation: This won’t be all that huge of an audience, it will be captive, and you can’t argue with that. It will also represent a generally high earning demographic, something that advertisers will love.