Qantas has handed responsibility for its in-flight entertainment content and advertising to MCN and Foxtel as part of the airline's overhaul of on-board services to improve it and bring in more revenue.
Sky News will take over as news provider, replacing Nine. Qantas will also air Foxtel and Fox Sports content on international and domestic flights and passengers will have access to Foxtel's library of local content across lifestyle, drama, food and entertainment programming on board.
Qantas has clarified that Foxtel is one of a number of entertainment suppliers - not in sole control.
Andrew McGinnes, executive manager of corporate affairs and communications, told AdNews: "The main advantage is that a combo of improved tech and our end and Sky’s 24/7 newsroom, it means we can dip in and get the latest news before we push back from the gate (as distinct from the three bulletins a day we did with Nine)."
MCN will be tasked with selling ad inventory and commercial packages to brands keen to tap into the airline's captive audience.
The overhaul comes quick on the tail of the announcement of Qview yesterday (22 July) – a partnership with Ooh! Media to provide access to news, sport, weather and other bespoke content including boarding times via a digital screen network in Qantas lounges.
The airline put out a tender for the contract in April and invited all the major TV networks to pitch for it. The partnership commences 1 November 2014.
CEO of MCN Anthony Fitzgerald said: “MCN is delighted to be working with Qantas and our channel partners to strengthen the in-flight opportunity for Qantas customers and advertisers. We see enormous synergy between the premium media environment for Qantas audiences and the premium content offering of our channel partners Foxtel, Sky News and Fox Sports. We look forward to helping Qantas strengthen its video content and video ad sales in 2015.”
Angelos Frangopoulos, Australian News Channel CEO, said: “Everyone at Sky News is proud that we've been selected by Qantas as the exclusive supplier of the in-flight and lounge television news service. We're excited about bringing Qantas customers a significantly enhanced and expanded service featuring news, commentary, business news and weather from across all the Sky News channels.”
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