Harry Sloan, Jeff Sagansky Powering Up Inflight Business

Duo's Global Eagle in pact with Southwest

Global Eagle Entertainment, founded last year by longtime showbiz execs Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, has launched a partnership with Southwest Airlines to provide technology for the carrier’s new inflight offering “TV Flies Free.”

Southwest began offering passengers free live TV and more than 50 on-demand shows streamed directly to personal devices with content from Dish Network.

Global Eagle’s Row 44 first launched its live TV platform on Southwest last summer and the technology is now on over 425 aircraft, or about 75% of Southwest’s fleet.  The design of the satellite network that supports the ‘TV Flies Free’ program, stems from an engineering and technology collaboration between Hughes Network Systems and Row 44.

The alliance with Southwest comes eight months after Sloan and Sagansky’s Global Eagle Acquisition acquired two companies — U.S.-based broadband service Row 44 and Germany-based content supplier Advanced Inflight Alliance — in a transaction valued at $430 million.

Sloan and Sagansky unveiled Global Eagle in early 2011 after Sloan had departed from MGM in the wake of The Lion completing its restructuring via a pre-packaged bankruptcy.

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