Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ:ENT) set a record in 2016 for the number of hours of live event telecasts to cruise ship passengers around the world on its MTN-TV Special Events Channel.
Exceeding its prior record by more than 400 hours, MTN-TV delivered nearly 700 events and 2,627 hours of live televised sports, entertainment and specials in 2016. MTN-TV is currently available on 27 cruise lines and more than 135 ships. The expanded special events coverage is part of an overall strategy to increase program offerings on MTN-TV. In addition to increasing the number of programs on the Special Events Channel, Global Eagle is launching up to 20 new MTN-TV channels this year, including emerging market content from China and Australia. It also has acquired rights to more than 10,000 hours of international sporting events, including live telecasts from the International Cricket Council, Lagardère Sports and Premiership Rugby.
In addition to special event programming, cruise lines have used the Special Events Channel for their own projects, such as broadcasting live a christening ceremony of a new ship to other vessels in their fleet.
MTN-TV general manager Bill Witiak indicated that as the international demographics of cruise line guests have changed over the past few years, so has his firm's programming. The MTN-TV Special Events Channel now offers a bigger, more globally diverse mix of live entertainment award shows, international sporting events and even live opera—when on a cruise, passengers don’t want to miss your favorite sports team or other events coverage and should expect the same quality of experience at sea that you get in their homes.