Advanced Television

Inmarsat brings Hollywood to the high seas

April 10, 2014

By Colin Mann

The latest Hollywood blockbusters will soon be available to commercial shipping companies across the world, delivered directly to vessels at sea via Inmarsat’s global satellite network.

Inmarsat and NT Digital Partners, are planning to launch Fleet Media during the summer of 2014. The globally-exclusive, five-year agreement covering the digital distribution of the latest Hollywood releases, as well as television programming and sports and news content, will be available to the world’s commercial shipping fleet via any Inmarsat broadband package.

Fleet Media will offer a selection of movie and television programming packages every month, which will be sent directly to participating vessels over the Inmarsat network for ‘off-line’ viewing on PCs, laptops and tablets. The service will be available to Inmarsat broadband service subscribers with the content securely downloaded and stored on the vessel’s Inmarsat iFUSION box. Any ship owner subscribing to the new digital packages will be able to take their service with them when they upgrade from one Inmarsat service to another (e.g. FleetBroadband to XpressLink or XpressLink to Global Xpress).

The content packages will be created by NT Digital Partners and its co-owner Spafax, a WPP company. Spafax is a leader in inflight entertainment with customers including British Airways and Air Canada.

“Inmarsat is extremely excited by this agreement and the opportunities to bring more benefits to seafarers,” said Frank Coles, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “This service continues our commitment to welfare at sea. We will be offering this service through our global distribution channel.

Tim Swank, Chairman of NT Digital Partners, said the partnership brought together the best of both worlds. “Inmarsat and NT Digital Partners are able to leverage Inmarsat’s state-of-the-art satellite distribution network with NT Digital Partners’ streaming technology and our exclusive relationships with the Hollywood studios for a product that will forever change the crew member experience.”

Fleet Media will offer an on-demand video experience with hundreds of hours of programming. The new service, which will be available to ship owners via their Inmarsat Distribution Partner (DP), is a step-change improvement over traditional DVD distribution methods with the streamed content specifically licensed and selected for commercial ships.

To meet their specific needs, vessel owners will able to select from multiple tiered offerings. Inmarsat and NT Digital Partners will be premièring full details of the upcoming service at Inmarsat’s Maritime Conference in Florida in early May.

The new service is expected to be launched by July 2014.

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