What does one do when flying and the FIFA World Cup matches are unfolding? Well, until a few years ago, the only option was to set the phone in airplane mode, open it upon landing and find out the results, scorers, and the play-by-play action immediately when the flight was over.
In the search for development and enhancing the experience on an airplane for all passengers, carriers have been trying to develop new ways of entertainment, for a tailor-made experience that became an advertisement for them to use the services once again.
As the flag carrier for the host nation, Qatar Airways has been instrumental in boosting the country’s reach related to the FIFA World Cup tournament. Now the airline has confirmed passengers will be able to watch the matches live while on a flight, with 56 of the 64 matches at Qatar 2022 being streamed live during all the flights.
A partnership between Panasonic Avionics, Inmarsat, and IMG’s Sport24 will deliver the content to the planes, underlining how important the cooperation between multiple parties in different areas is to deliver an improved passenger experience, especially during a time like the FIFA World Cup, the sports competition with the largest following throughout the whole world.
The solution of the partnership was to provide passengers with the live streaming of matches directly on their personal devices, on the Qatar Airlines flights which are equipped with Super Wi-Fi service. Passengers can connect to the onboard Super Wi-Fi network, click on the Live TV banner and enjoy all the latest action from sporting events from around the world, with 56 matches of the FIFA World Cup being streamed for the first time ever.
Inmarsat’s GX Aviation offers the high-speed, reliable inflight broadband required to stream Sport 24, with seamless global coverage across Qatar Airways’ flight routes. This solution already powers Qatar Airways’ Super Wi-Fi offering, enabling passengers to scroll social media, stream movies and TV, play games and browse the web, as well as watch live sports, offering the richest onboard experience.
“Qatar Airways was the first airline based in the Middle East and North Africa to offer Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband service, cementing its status as a leading pioneer of technology innovations. We are delighted that, four years later, GX Aviation continues to lead the way for Qatar Airways, powering the connectivity for its first live television offering, which also coincides with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. We are delighted to share this special milestone with them, alongside our partner Panasonic Avionics,” said William Huot-Marchand, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity.
But how exactly will everything work?
Inmarsat will broadcast the multicast feeds of the Sport24 content across its satellites. According to the company, this is a more efficient mechanism, close to traditional broadcasting, where a single stream of data is collected by multiple receivers in the coverage area.
This is the reason why multiple aircrafts from the Qatar Airlines air fleet will be able to broadcast simultaneously the games, as once the signal makes it to the aircraft, t is redistributed via the web portal to individual passenger devices.
“Our Live Television service brings a whole new dimension to in-flight engagement and enables passengers to catch unmissable sporting moments in the skies. We are honored to be continuing our longstanding partnership with Qatar Airways by bringing this innovation to their cabins, in partnership with Inmarsat,” added Andrew Mohr, Vice President of Digital Solutions for Panasonic Avionics.
“Qatar Airways, the Official Airline of the Journey for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is all set to welcome fans from around the world to the State of Qatar. Football fever is in the air and this is the moment we have all been waiting for. On behalf of the Qatar Airways Group, we are excited to welcome football fans onboard and at various key locations around the country,” said His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive of the Qatar Airways Group.
In time for the biggest sporting event in football, the World’s Best Airline has successfully completed the installation of a FIFA World Cup™ decal on 120 aircraft. The specially-branded aircraft include 48 B777s, 31 B787s, 21 A320s, 12 A330s, and eight A380s. The airline also operates three specially-branded Boeing 777 aircraft hand-painted in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ livery.