American to get NBC’s in-flight shows, replacing CBS


American Airlines, the world’s second-largest carrier, will get broadcast programs from NBC Universal for its flights starting March 1, replacing a 10-year accord with CBS Corp.

NBC Universal, a General Electric Co. unit, will produce four exclusive 90-minute programs each month, the two companies said today in a statement. The content will run on cabin screens and some personal entertainment devices on the Fort Worth, Texas- based airline’s planes. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

American, a unit of AMR Corp., and other U.S. carriers have added movies and on-demand television programming to distinguish their service from discount carriers. The current agreement with CBS expires in February, said September Wade, an AMR spokeswoman.

The NBC programs may include “30 Rock” and “The Office,’ along with shows from NBC’s USA, Bravo and Oxygen channels, news and sports content and Universal Pictures films, Wade said.

Advertising in the programs will be handled by Brand Connections LLC, a New York agency, American said. The NBC content is free as long as passengers have headphones, which can be purchased for $2 on the planes, Wade said.

AMR fell 48 cents to $7.14 at 2:34 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, rose 26 cents to $12.29. New York-based CBS slid 50 cents to $6.