Southwest Airlines expands in-flight live TV
Michelle Clancy | 12-07-2012
The results are in for Southwest Airlines' in-flight, Wi-Fi-based live TV service, and they're positive: the US airline has found that fliers are willing to pay an incremental charge for the entertainment option.
Partnering with Row 44 as its platform provider, Southwest has been trialing the offering on five aircraft for the past few weeks. The service has seven news and sports channels: NBC Sports, MLB live games from MLB.com, NFL Network, CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News and FOX Business News. And, the service is available for $3 to $8 throughout a flight.
Unlike competitor airlines, which have used a seat-back approach to offering TV, the channels are streamed via Wi-Fi to consumers' Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Southwest will roll the service out to 20 planes by July, and to its entire fleet of 250 by 2013 if things continue to go well.