Today’s news:

JetBlue to broacast NBC, Telemundo on airline TVs

The Kew Gardens-based JetBlue Airways plans to inaugurate what it describes as the first in-flight television featuring NBC network and Spanish language broadcasts.

JetBlue, which has offered television at every seat since the low-fare airline began flying in 2000, said New York City station WNBC and the network Telemundo will join the regular 24 channels on the airline.

“JetBlue customers don’t have to set their VCRs when they travel now to catch up with Katie and Matt, Joey and Rachel and Jay and Conan,” said David Neeleman, JetBlue chairman. “They'll watch their shows live in comfy leather seats as they’re en route to our 19 destinations. And New Yorkers will be able to catch up on local news flying JetBlue, no matter where they are in the U.S.A.”

The new service is the result of a deal between JetBlue and NBC, which owns both WNBC and Telemundo, the second largest U.S. Spanish-language TV network.

It was announced in New York and El Segundo, Calif. by JetBlue and DirecTV Airborne, a programming service for commercial airlines delivered by the LiveTV inflight entertainment system.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to add WNBC and Telemundo to the channel offerings on board JetBlue Airways via our partnership with DirectTV,” said David Zaslav, president of NBC Cable. “In addition to CNBC and MSNBC, passengers will now have access to NBC’s quality programming and all of their ‘must see’ TV favorites as well as the hit Spanish language shows on Telemundo.”

With 11 owned and operated stations and more than 50 affiliates, Telemundo reaches 90 percent of Hispanic views in the United States.

JetBlue recently announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire LiveTV, provider of inflight entertainment services. LiveTV is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue.

JetBlue, which began flying in February 2000, serves 19 cities using Airbus A320 jetliners.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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