Live Premier League football to be available in-flight
Exclusive: Passengers to be offered a new live sports channel called Sport 24
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 13 February 2012
Live Premier League football is to become available as in-flight entertainment along with live coverage of other major sporting events including the Olympics, the Masters, the British Open and Formula 1 motor racing.
The breakthrough is being made by Gulf Air which is to begin broadcasting content produced by the London-based media company IMG Worldwide. Passengers will be offered a new live sports channel called Sport 24 which will be broadcast via satellite to specially-equipped Gulf Air planes.
Other prime content will include live coverage of the Roland Garros and Australian Open tennis tournaments, the Ryder Cup and games from German football’s Bundesliga.
Airline passengers have previously had to make do with sports coverage in highlights packages. The Sport 24 broadcasting technology has been developed in partnership with the electronics giant Panasonic Avionics Corporation and coverage will be uninterrupted even on long distance flights over oceans. From 1 March the channel will also be available on cruise liners following a deal with Norwegian Cruise Liners.
Gulf Air, which is Bahrain’s national airline, will be showing Sport 24 on its ‘Sky Hub’ which is currently available only on the A330 aircraft that fly long-haul and on some intra-Gulf routes. Discussions are taking place with other airlines interested in taking the Sport 24 channel.
Richard Wise, Senior Vice President of IMG Media, said: “Sport 24 will revolutionise the way passengers watch live sports on airlines and cruise ships. For the first time ever viewers will be able to enjoy the greatest sporting events live while travelling on business or holidaying abroad. Sport fans will no longer have to miss their favourite team, or event on this new dedicated sports channel.”
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