Airlines will begin to show live Premier League Football as part of their in-flight entertainment, after a new deal was forged between the Premier League and IMG Media.
The first airlines to introduce the service will be Lufthansa and Gulf Air, with planes being specially equipped to stream live coverage of Premier League games. IMG Media is also targeting cruise lines for the live service, and so far Carnival UK and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) have signed up.
IMG has said it is in touch with a number of interested airlines and cruise companies, and is looking to expand the service. The deal signed with the English Premier League currently covers seasons from 2013/2014 through to 2015/16, and will allow games to be shown on Sport 24, the exclusive cruise and airline industry sport channel.
"Our goal is to continue to distribute the very best live sports action to both these markets," commented Richard Wise, IMG's senior vice president. "With the launch of Sport 24 earlier this year we have featured some of the best sporting action within one channel," he added.
Sport 24 has so far secured broadcasts of major events such as the 2012 London Olympics, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, Roland Garros and Formula 1 races. The chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, welcomed the new deal with IMG and the chance to widen the audience for the league's games.
"We look forward to working with them as they distribute the Barclays Premier League in a way that allows our fans to enjoy the competition while travelling overseas," said Mr Scudamore.