Southwest Airlines Reminds Football Fans Why In-Flight Live TV Is So Good

Skift Take

Nothing soothes the stress of a Sunday afternoon or evening flight like being able to watch your favorite team take to the field. It’s almost enough to make you forget you’re in coach.

— Jason Clampet

On opening Sunday of the 2013 NFL season, Southwest Airlines blanketed the FOX and CBS with advertisements touting its free in-flight live television, and the football watching this service makes possible. Like its competitors JetBlue, Virgin America, United, and Frontier, Southwest allows passengers to watch television on flights within the U.S. Of the five airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, and Virgin offer TV for free.

Southwest has foregone the seat-back installations in favor of relying on passengers to bring their own device. Passengers can stream the service to laptops, tablets, and smartphones via in-flight Wi-Fi from provider Row 44. Dish Network is paying for the service in exchange for ads that run intermittently through programming.

During Sunday’s NFL games, Southwest is a short 15-second clip focused on a fan watching a football game streamed to his iPad. In addition to the football-focused ad, the airline calls out the feature in its new the “Check” commercial, below, that’s part of the airline’s new “If It Matters to You, It Matters to Us” campaign.

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