Southwest Airlines to Offer Fliers Free Live TV

by Christopher Freeburn | July 2, 2013 11:16 am

Southwest Airlines LUV[1]Airline passengers are getting use to fewer and fewer free perks while flying. However, Southwest Airlines (LUV[2]) is about to change that … sort of.

The airline has formed a partnership with Dish Network (DISH[3]) to offer flyers free access to 14 live TV channels and a library of 75 on-demand shows that can be viewed on passengers’ mobile devices during flights. The service will be offered on 427 Southwest airplanes, about 60% of its total fleet, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Under its agreement with Dish, Southwest will place advertisements promoting Dish satellite TV service across all its customer interaction points, including emails and signs. Passengers will also have to sit through a 30-second Dish commercial in order to watch the free content.

The service will be available for mobile devices running Apple‘s (AAPL[4]) iOS, Google‘s (GOOG[5]) Android and Microsoft‘s (MSFT[6]) Windows.

While flyers won’t have to pay to see the Dish programming. They still have to pay Southwest an $8 fee for WiFi access on its flights.

Investors did not seem impressed with the deal. Shares of Southwest fell almost 2% in Tuesday morning trading, while Dish slipped fractionally.

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