IMG partners with Panasonic to offer live sports IFE content

The global sports, fashion and media company, IMG Media, has teamed up with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to launch a live global premium 24-hour sports channel – SPORT 24 – as in-flight entertainment (IFE) content.

Available through Panasonic’s eXTV service, SPORT 24 will be broadcast via satellite to ‘Sky Hub’ equipped Gulf Air A330 aircraft, featuring live coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, The Barclays Premier League, and Bundesliga, The Masters, The Open Championship and the Ryder Cup, Formula 1, Roland Garros and the Australian Open.
Panasonic’s eXTV television network uses the company’s eXConnect in-flight Ku-band communications service, including the same Ku antenna and onboard components, to deliver television programming to passengers during their flight. It provides live, uninterrupted content to aircraft flying all over the world, even over oceans.
IMG Media, who already produce a 24-hour Premier League content service for the League’s overseas broadcasters, has acquired the rights to the various sporting events and programming and will be producing the content within its London production facility.
“SPORT 24 will revolutionize the way passengers watch live sports on airlines and cruise ships,” declared Richard Wise, Senior Vice President for IMG Media. “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.”
“The SPORT 24 channel represents a major advancement in the in-flight experience for passengers all over the world,” commented Vice President, Global Communication Services for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, David Bruner. “We are excited to be working with IMG and to have Gulf Air as our launch customer. After all, there’s nothing quite like watching the world’s top sporting events like the Olympics, live, on an aircraft, anywhere in the world.”
“The SPORT 24 channel, with an exceptional array of live action is the latest in our offerings,” stated Gulf Air Senior Manager of In-Flight Entertainment & Communications, Mr. Mohamad El Assaad. “Now our customers onboard can watch their favourite sports stars live at 35000 feet with all exhilaration and enthusiasm.”
It is claimed that discussions are continuing with a number of other airlines interested in taking the service.

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