DISH (NASDAQ:DISH) and Southwest Airlines® (NYSE:LUV) announced today they are extending their partnership and the “TV Flies Free” promotion. Through December 31, 2014, DISH will provide Southwest Customers using iOS, Android and most other Internet-ready devices free access to nearly 20 live TV channels and up to 75 on-demand shows on the airline’s nearly 440 Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft. Onboard access to live TV, on-demand programming and Wi-Fi connectivity is delivered by Southwest’s satellite-based inflight entertainment and connectivity partner, Row 44, a subsidiary of Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT).
DISH and Southwest Airlines Enjoy Free Live TV on Your Next Flight ad. (Photo: Business Wire)The program was originally announced in July 2013 when DISH and Southwest surprised passengers aboard a Southwest flight with a giveaway of free iPad® 2 devices to celebrate the new partnership. Since that time, DISH has enabled millions of Southwest Customers to watch their favorite shows in-flight at no charge. “Since the FAA changed its rules regarding personal electronic device usage, mobile video viewing on Southwest Airlines flights has increased more than 20 percent,” said James Moorhead, DISH Chief Marketing Officer. “By extending our partnership with Southwest we are able to give their Customers a sample of what DISH customers experience on a daily basis, their favorite TV programs, anytime, anywhere and at no additional cost, simply the best mobile TV experience.” As part of the extension, DISH will continue offering new customers who sign up for the Hopper and a qualified programming package, 12,500 points in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® program and the choice of a free iPad Mini. “Southwest is in the business of providing exemplary Customer Service and this partnership with DISH has been very popular with our Customers,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer. “Free is a great thing for Customers in this industry and having DISH providing this amenity through 2014 will continue to make our onboard experience even more entertaining this year.”