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JetBlue doesn’t see LiveTV sell-off in the short term

JetBlue Airways believes ultimately the best course for its LiveTV subsidiary is not ownership by an airline, but the carrier says it has no plans in the near term to monetise the in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) provider.

JetBlue purchased LiveTV in 2002, and in June 2008 enlisted Merrill Lynch to explore options for the subsidiary.

During a recent investor presentation JetBlue CFO Ed Barnes stated LiveTV "doesn't appear to be an asset that wants to be wholly-owned by an airline or at least one airline for a long period of time, but we want to make sure we can monetise it in the right way when we do it".

Barnes adds he does not believe monetising LiveTV "is a near-term thing", and that previous comments made by JetBlue about a potential sale were in the face of escalating fuel prices.

He also states JetBlue has "developed a close relationship" with ViaSat, which is working with LiveTV to bring Ka-band satellite-based in-flight connectivity to JetBlue and some 200 aircraft in United-Continental Holdings' Continental fleet, which is fitted with LiveTV's latest generation live television system, LTV3.

JetBlue executives recently said the carrier was close to firming the ViaSat deal.

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