Global Eagle Entertainment Powers Groundbreaking Content and Connectivity Platform for Southwest Airlines


– ‘TV Flies Free’ program launched on July 1st on more than 425 Southwest aircraft
– Innovative Inflight Entertainment offering expands on Global Eagle’s market leadership

Westlake Village, CA | July 2, 2013– Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT) announced today that its Row 44 subsidiary has entered into a groundbreaking content and connectivity partnership with its customer Southwest Airlines® (NYSE: LUV). Row 44 will power a new inflight offering called ‘TV Flies Free’ whereby, for the first time, passengers will be able to watch free live TV and more than 50 on-demand shows streamed directly to personal devices, courtesy of DISH (NASDAQ: DISH).

Row 44, a leading provider of satellite-based inflight WiFi and device-based entertainment for airlines around the world, operates its inflight connectivity service with a network of Ku-band satellites. In addition to delivering consistent, universal coverage for WiFi connectivity, Ku-band is also the only broadband technology, whether satellite or air-to-ground, that can cost-effectively deliver and support live television programming to airlines as its beam design can receive, carry and deliver live television streams in a single beam.

Row 44 first launched its live TV platform on Southwest Airlines in the summer of 2012. After a successful pilot phase, it was rolled out to all WiFi-equipped Boeing 737-700 and -800 aircraft, which now represents more than 425 aircraft or about 75 percent of Southwest’s fleet.

“This trailblazing partnership is a validation of our industry-leading technology and our integrated content and connectivity platform,” said John LaValle, Chief Executive Officer of Global Eagle Entertainment. “This new program reflects the ability of our unique platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers and the millions of travelers they serve. We look forward to working with Southwest and DISH on this truly market-leading promotion.”

Earlier this year, Southwest Airlines announced an upgrade to the live TV package as well as the addition of on-demand episodes of popular TV shows. With the new DISH-sponsored ‘TV Flies Free’ program, Southwest Customers will be able to watch free live TV and more than 50 on demand shows on their personal devices. Live TV is available on most Internet-ready devices on most Southwest flights.

“Southwest Airlines continues to innovate and evolve our on-board Customer experience,” said Kevin Krone, Chief Marketing Officer at Southwest Airlines. “We started with WiFi and now have expanded to television. This new offer puts free television in the hands of our Customers. Just one more way Southwest offers more value at 37,000 feet.”

The design of the satellite network that supports the ‘TV Flies Free’ program, which operates across North America, is the result of a deep engineering and technology collaboration between Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) and Row 44. Hughes’ expertise in broadband satellite solutions and services has bolstered the performance of the network and contributes heavily to the ongoing consistent performance of the live TV product.

“Our relationship with Row 44 has afforded both enterprises the opportunity to deliver true innovation to inflight entertainment,” said Paul Gaske, Executive Vice President and General Manager, North American Division for Hughes. “As a pioneer in high-speed satellite Internet technology and services, Hughes is an ideal partner for Row 44, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and push the limits of in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) alongside them.”

Added LaValle, “Our live TV product is an outstanding example of the capacity and flexibility a system powered by Ku-band satellite connectivity can achieve, and it is being established on a global scale.”

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