Southwest debuts in-flight live TV on smart devices

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 02-07-2012

Southwest Airlines has announced plans to sell a live in-flight television service on a trial basis, trying out tariffs running from $3 to $8.
Rather than implementing a seat-back strategy, the seven channels - all focused on news and sports - will be available via customers' smart devices and laptops. The channels will be delivered in dedicated streams over Wi-Fi.
The airline plans to start off with service on five planes, with expansion to as many as 20 throughout July. If all goes well, all of the airline's Wi-Fi-enabled planes (about 250 of them) will come with the service by the end of the year.
The channels included are NBC Sports, MLB, NFL Network, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News and Fox Business News.
There are other airlines that offer live TV in-flight, including JetBlue and Virgin America. Those however offer the service via seat-back. Southwest will be plying the personalisation waters--an approach that may pay off in spades considering the uptick in thirst for multiscreen video.