Kingfisher flights to broadcast ZEE channels

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Reportedly, Kingfisher Airlines and Dish TV (ZEE Network’s digital satellite pay-TV platform) have announced a tie-up to provide live in-flight entertainment on Kingfisher aircrafts.

It is learnt that Kingfisher Airlines is the first carrier in India to offer live in-flight entertainment, and only the second airline, after JetBlue Airways in the US, to offer this kind of facility.

In a statement, Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Essel Group, said that Dish TV would provide Kingfisher passengers with a choice of 16 channels. The channels will be a mix of the ZEE Network and third party offerings.

Chandra further said that they are looking to get into a space that has not been explored before. The future of entertainment lies in giving the viewer what content he wants, and as and when he wants it. The tie-up is aimed at taking the DTH brand to a whole new level.

Although the channel menu has not been decided upon as yet, Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kingfisher said that passengers on Kingfisher Airlines will be able to view the Cricket World Cup 2007 live. Mallya said that the addition of live TV strengthens Kingfisher’s position as a premium airline.

According to sources, a satellite-tracking dish will be fitted to each aircraft, which will capture live feeds from the satellite and transmit it to each of the TV screens. The technology will also permit Kingfisher to change the mix of channels depending on the sector.

Mallya said that the first Kingfisher aircraft is being retrofitted with the requisite technology, and that it should be back in service just before Christmas. Five more aircrafts will be retrofitted with the service by Feb 2007, well ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

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