DISH and Southwest Airlines announced a new partnership today that will allow iOS device users to access live and on-demand programming for free directly from their tablet or smartphone. It’s certainly an idea that we can get behind… After all, would you prefer watching live TV on your 10-inch Retina display or the barely visible 6-inch display typically built into airline seats?

To celebrate the launch of the new TV Flies Free service, DISH took to a Southwest flight yesterday to give out some free iPads and show passengers how the access to 75 on-demand shows and live TV streams work.

“DISH and Southwest are two iconic American brands known for putting the customer first, providing products, services and experiences they truly demand,” said DISH President and CEO Joe Clayton. “It’s only logical our two companies should team up to give passengers free live TV and on-demand shows on flights around the country.”

“Customers using DISH’s award-winning DISH AnywhereTM and Hopper TransfersTM apps on their iPad can watch all their live TV, DVR recordings and on-demand shows anywhere, anytime via Wi-Fi connection or Hopper Transfers. Now, on Southwest, they can use an iPad to watch free live TV and on-demand shows. It’s a perfect fit.”

Not only is the TV Flies Free service available to all of the 400 WiFi enabled Southwest planes, it’s also the first time onboard entertainment becomes free for SWA customers.

The live-TV lineup currently features Bravo, CNBC, FOX 5 New York (WNYW), FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, Golf Channel, MLB.com (Major League Baseball, when games are available), MSNBC, NBC 4 (WNBC), NFL Network, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel.  Popular TV show episodes are also available on demand as part of the TV lineup. Free TV, compliments of DISH, is a limited-time promotion.

Some screenshots of the new DISH/Southwest experience on iPad below:

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