EL SEGUNDO, Calif. & NEW YORK–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 24, 2002–JetBlue Airways, DIRECTV Inc., and NBC announced today that Telemundo will be the first Spanish-language networks ever to air live inflight on a commercial airline, via the DIRECTV AIRBORNE(TM) service aboard JetBlue.
Telemundo, owned by NBC, is the second largest Spanish-language television network in the U.S. The network joins WNBC, the New York City-based NBC owned and operated station, CNBC and MSNBC as part of the up to 24 channels of real-time programming available.
DIRECTV AIRBORNE is the DIRECTV programming service for commercial airlines delivered through the LiveTV(TM) in-flight entertainment system. JetBlue is the only commercial airline in the world, which offers the DIRECTV AIRBORNE service free of charge at every seat.
“With our latest expansion to Puerto Rico and growing operations in New York, Southern California and Florida, I’m thrilled that we are now able to offer Spanish-language entertainment for our customers” said David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue. “Telemundo, and up to 23 channels of English-language entertainment, will be provided free of charge.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to add WNBC and Telemundo to the channel offerings on board JetBlue Airways via our partnership with DIRECTV,” said David Zaslav, President, 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.”
“This is an exciting addition to the DIRECTV AIRBORNE programming lineup,” said Michael Thornton, senior vice president, Programming Acquisitions, DIRECTV, Inc. “JetBlue’s passengers will now be able to watch the same top-rated NBC TV and Telemundo shows in the air that they customarily watch at home, giving them the ultimate in-flight entertainment experience.”
Telemundo, a Spanish-language television network, is the essential Latin-focused entertainment, news and sports source broadcasting unique national and local programming for the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. With 11 owned and operated stations and more than 50 affiliates, Telemundo reaches 90 percent of U.S. Hispanic viewers. Telemundo is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of NBC, the nation’s leading broadcast network.
WNBC, which holds the first license for a commercial television station, has an audience reach that includes parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. WNBC broadcasts NBC network programming and locally produced news, sports, and public affairs programs.
Launched in 2000, the LiveTV in-flight entertainment system and DIRECTV AIRBORNE programming service offer commercial airline passengers up to 24 channels of real-time DIRECTV(R) sports, news, children’s and general entertainment programming. JetBlue recently entered into an agreement to acquire LiveTV, LLC, with the acquisition expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2002, pending customary government approval.
WNBC is the first broadcast network to launch on DIRECTV AIRBORNE, which features a wide array of programming, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, The Golf Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, CNN Headline News, The Weather Channel, The Travel Channel, Home and Garden TV, The Food Network, Game Show Network, A&E, The History Channel, Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids Channel, The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, CourtTV, Boomerang, which features classic cartoons from the Cartoon Network, and DIRECTV’s Freeview events, which include music concerts by well known artists such as U2.
JetBlue is a low-fare, low-cost passenger airline which provides high-quality customer service. Since launching operations in February 2000, the airline has served more than eight million passengers. JetBlue operates a fleet of 31 new Airbus A320 aircraft and is scheduled to take delivery of another five new A320s by the end of 2002. All JetBlue aircraft are outfitted with roomy all-leather seats each equipped with free live satellite television, offering up to 24 channels of DIRECTV(R) programming at every seat(a). With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and a Saturday night stay is never required. For more information, schedules and fares, please visit www.jetblue.com or call JetBlue reservations at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).
(a) DIRECTV(R) service is not available on flights between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The nation’s first broadcast network, NBC has evolved into a diverse, international media company. In addition to the NBC Television Network and 14 NBC television stations, the company owns CNBC, operates MSNBC in partnership with Microsoft, and maintains interests in a number of programming services, including the A&E Network, the History Channel, ValueVision, Inc. (ShopNBC), Paxson Communications, and Rainbow Media Holdings. In addition, NBC operates Telemundo, the nation’s second-largest Spanish-language media company. NBC also has equity stakes in several new media companies. International holdings include CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia Pacific, which are services of NBC and Dow Jones, and an equity position in National Geographic Channels International.
DIRECTV is the nation’s leading digital satellite television service provider with more than 10.7 million customers. DIRECTV, the Cyclone Design logo and DIRECTV AIRBORNE are trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. HUGHES is the world’s leading provider of digital television entertainment, broadband services, satellite-based private business networks, and global video and data broadcasting. The earnings of HUGHES, a unit of General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE: GMH). Visit DIRECTV on the World Wide Web at DIRECTV.com.
Gareth Edmondson-Jones, 718/286-7941
Robert Mercer, (310) 964-4683
NBC Cable Networks
Erica Conaty, (201) 346 2314