A report today that JetBlue and LiveTV are in serious negotiations over a LiveTV spin-off is……………..false, false and false, according to JetBlue.
The New York-hubbed airline says it is not selling LiveTV.
Indeed, perhaps more than ever, LiveTV is firmly ensconced in JetBlue’s family because the Melbourne, Florida-based subsidiary is the center-point for making Ka-band satellite-based in-flight connectivity happen on the carrier’s fleet (LiveTV will manage the integration of ViaSat’s broadband and related components on board the aircraft!).
Showing an immense amount of goodwill after I harassed her for days on the separate issue of whether JetBlue has inked a definitive agreement with ViaSat (not yet, but they’re working on it), a JetBlue spokeswoman tells RWG:
As we have previously stated, JetBlue remains committed to maintaining LiveTV as a strategic asset and an important part of JetBlue. We believe LiveTV continues to offer best-in-class products and we expect them to remain central to our plans in creating the next generation of the on-board experience in conjunction with our business partner, ViaSat.
We would refer you to comments made by Dave Barger on our 2Q10 earnings call, when asked about LiveTV:
…Just to be transparent, we look at LiveTV wholly-owned subsidiary [as] something that is very, very important to JetBlue and core to us as we go forward. I think when we were open about opportunities [in 2008], what makes sense in the marketplace with LiveTV, keep in mind that the times were a little bit different two years ago as oil was running, the economy was on its heels, etc. So I think that wholly-owned subsidiary that we want to maximize if you will to JetBlue’s benefit at this point in time. And [we're] not in the marketplace in terms of looking for opportunities to sell a subsidiary.
He goes on further to say:
I think with regard to wireless as well…we’re pretty pleased that, we’re a follower, if you will, with wireless. Now the brand – the heritage of JetBlue has been in-flight entertainment since day one, and I think we are second to none with 140 channels of in-flight entertainment, TV as well as satellite as well as first run movies. And I’m saying that mainly because we believe that the, the small amount of customers who are willing to purchase the products that are available on the marketplace today, and also with the, the identity of those products as separate from the airline, is distinctly different than something that we want to pursue. And oh, by the way our route network is pretty significantly offshore these days into the Caribbean and Latin America as well. So the ability to touch that route system with that new technology, that’s really how we’re looking at really WiFi and how we can utilize LiveTVs expertise to our benefit into the future.