IN BRIEF | Watching live football, F1 racing and tennis at 40,000 feet is set to become the next wave in inflight entertainment (IFE), according to Panasonic Avionics.
"Two or three years from now, you’re going to see live sport just being the biggest thing onboard airplanes,” says David Bruner, the firm's VP of Global Communications Services.
"We always think of IFE being movie content and then some television shorts, but live sport is just so popular" Bruner tell Future Travel Experience.
"Last year we carried the World Cup on our Sport 24 channel and during the time we broadcast the finals, no one watched anything else but the World Cup. Even if you weren’t a big sports fan, you were watching it."
"One of the things it tells us is people want live television and they want live sports onboard the aircraft.”
Panasonic already offers live sport through its eXTV live television service (above), but Bruner says there's increasing demand to offer more than one channel dedicated to sports.
Etihad Airways has previously screened the FIFA World Cup and the final rounds of the Formula One season on selected international flights and includes Sport 24 among its roster of satellite TV channels available on Etihad's Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s fitted with Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite.
Emirates also lists Sport 24 on its Ice TV Live line-up on some Boeing 777 aircraft.
“We’re seeing probably two or three airlines per month have their very first aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi," Bruner reveals.
“If you look at January 1 2015 versus January 1 2016, you’re going to see a radically different landscape in terms of the number of airlines that have at least started their implementation."
Read more at futuretravelexperience.com.
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