Live TV Returns To American Airlines Starting Thursday

American Airlines rolled out live TV three years ago but it was cut at the start of the pandemic. They explained it away as there being no live sports on offer, but of course channels included news and entertainment too.

Starting tomorrow live TV is back on domestic narrowbody aircraft. The channels they’re supporting are:

  • Sports: NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN2
  • Network: Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC
  • News: Fox News, CNBC, CNN
  • Cable entertainment: TNT, USA

When live TV first rolled out they had Disney and Telemundo, but fewer channels overall (and no Fox News).

The airline is promoting the restored offering with a social media video where they’ve “drafted a professional football legend…to help bring life to an inflight entertainment brainstorm.” It’s rather odd, with airline President Robert Isom the only employee not wearing mask and the team members assembled devoid of ideas of their own.

Nonetheless a big improvement to see live TV back on domestic aircraft, albeit in most cases just streamed to your own device.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Shame they’re playing fox news. It’s just going to get all the right wing nuts further worked up about their masks while watching Tucker Carlson fisting himself on live TV. All we need. That said, glad to have the rest of the live TV back.

  2. Even better is that Delta and Southwest never cut it, the former on seatbacks and the latter on your device.

  3. Nothing like watching live tv on a phone. Held in hand. While plugged in not to drain the battery. Yeah ‘great news’ there. This is such a nothing announcement.

  4. But nothing on international or Hawaii 777 300’s or 787 9’s? Disappointed they are still back in the 80’s with entertainment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *