Continental inks live TV deal

Continental Airlines has entered into an agreement with LiveTV that will allow Continental to offer 36 channels of live, inflight satellite-based television programming provided by DIRECTV at every seat on Continental’s new generation aircraft. The service is expected to be available to customers on flights operating within the continental United States beginning in January 2009.

In addition, Continental will be introducing onboard Wi-Fi services including e-mail and instant messaging connectivity offered by LiveTV.

“Our customers want more inflight entertainment and communication options,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We have been closely watching technology developments and are delighted to have teamed up with LiveTV to offer live television programming and communication to our customers.”

Customers will be able to choose from a variety of quality programming from DIRECTV including sports, news, weather, children’s programming and general entertainment. The initial channel programming lineup offered through the inflight entertainment system is expected to include CBS, NBC, FOX News, CNN Headline News, ESPN, Animal Planet, The History Channel, Food Network, Nickelodeon, MTV and other popular channels. The inflight entertainment system will also offer a moving map and other stored informational and entertainment content. Continental will offer complimentary access to the system to all first-class customers. Economy-class customers will be able to access the system by paying a $6 access fee.